For your convenience Apress has placed some of the front matter material after the index. Please use the Bookmarks and Contents at a Glance links to access them.

About the Author .............................................................................................................vii Acknowledgments............................................................................................................viii Introduction ........................................................................................................................... x Chapter 1: Chapter 2: Chapter 3: Chapter 4: Chapter 5: Chapter 6: Chapter 7: Chapter 8: Chapter 9: Benjamin Fried, CIO, Google, Inc. ............................................................ 1 Tony Scott, CIO, Microsoft ....................................................................... 33 Monte Ford, Senior Vice President and CIO, American Airlines, Inc./ AMR Corporation ............................................................................................... 47 Mittu Sridhara, CIO, Ladbrokes plc ........................................................ 71 Steve Rubinow, Executive Vice President and CIO, NYSE Euronext ........ 87 Lewis Temares, CIO Emeritus, University of Miami ..............................113 Mark Mooney, Senior Vice President and CIO, McGraw-Hill Education ..133 Dan Wakeman, Vice President and CIO, Educational Testing Services ..151 Lynne Ellyn, Senior Vice President and CIO, DTE Energy ........................173

Chapter 10: Becky Blalock, Senior Vice President and CIO, Southern Company, Atlanta.............................................................................................................191 Chapter 11: Ken Bohlen, Vice President and CIO, Arizona Public Service Company (APS) ................................................................................................211 Chapter 12: Roger Gurnani, Executive Vice President and CIO, Verizon ...................231 Chapter 13: Ashish Gupta, Managing Director of Service Design, British Telecom (BT) ........................................................................................253 Chapter 14: Joan Miller, Director of ICT, the UK Parliament .......................................277 Chapter 15: Vivek Kundra, First CIO of the United States of America ......................299 Chapter 16: Paul Strassmann, Former CIO for Kraft Foods Inc., Xerox Corp., U.S. Department of Defense, and NASA ..........................................................309 Index ........................................................................................................................343


For the past two generations of human civilization, we have been told that we live in an “Information Age.” And for at least one generation, we have been told that our business organizations, our government agencies, and our day-to-day social lives depend more and more critically on computer technology. We no longer express any surprise about how rapidly technology is changing and evolving because it’s something we all experience: every one of us has his or her own “war story” about how primitive things were—even a short five years ago. Nowhere is this more evident than in the office of the Chief Information Officer of today’s organizations. Ironically, that title did not even exist when I finished college and entered the workforce back in the Paleolithic Age of the 1960s. But those were the days when companies thought they were in the “widget” business—whether the widgets were automobiles or toasters or some other tangible product. Today, even the most Luddite executives realize that information technology (IT) is what connects their organizations and its products/services to the marketplace and the customers and their assortment of laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Equally important, IT is the “electricity” (or, as U.S. federal government CIO Vivek Kundra puts it, the “digital oil”) that keeps their “factory” running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Consequently, CIOs are becoming an increasingly critical executive in both private-sector and public-sector organizations. As I confirmed in the interviews presented in this book, they almost all have a title of “Vice President” or better; many of them report directly to the CEO or COO of the organization; and some are members of the board of directors of their organization. At the same time, they are often difficult to identify and sometimes extremely difficult to track down and contact. Of course, it’s not so easy to pick up the phone and make a direct call to the CEO of a large organization, either; but I was surprised to see how many companies had no public information about the identity, or even the existence, of their Chief Information Officer.


Indeed, I was surprised by how many CIOs were uninterested in talking to me about their opinions of how IT was being used to make their organizations more productive, more competitive, more efficient. After all, “information” is the middle initial of their abbreviated title; and, as one CIO put it, a more appropriate title might even be “Chief Communication Officer.” After several such unsuccessful efforts to contact CIOs within various Wall Street banks and financial services organizations, it finally dawned on me: in some of these organizations, strategic use of IT really is considered a competitive advantage. If these firms really do believe that to be the case, why on earth would they want to share that competitive advantage with anyone else? Why would they want to discuss it? Why would they even want to acknowledge its existence? It would almost be like the CIA or the National Security Agency opening all their secret files for public review and discussion. At the same time, the secretive “closed” approach towards IT that these organizations exhibit reminds me of “closed” countries now experiencing turmoil on the world scene where attempts to shut down the Internet essentially shut down the country’s economy. Wall Street firms are not the CIA, and in the long run, I believe their attempts to seal themselves off from the increasingly interconnected, Internet-enabled world will prove to be a failed strategy. Meanwhile, some organizations are clearly proud of what they’ve done, and what they plan to do in the future, with information technology. They’re not going to share their “secret sauce” proprietary algorithms (for example, Google didn’t offer to share its page-ranking algorithm with me any more than Coca-Cola would have shared the detailed recipe for its soft drink) and they’re not going to deposit all of their software in an open-source code repository. But they realize that their employees—who often number in the tens of thousands, sometimes even the hundreds of thousands—represent a society of their own, and that it’s a positive thing to encourage their employees to interact with customers, suppliers, vendors, and business partners in the outside world. Equally important, most of the companies I spoke with have finally accepted the wisdom of The Clue Train Manifesto: The End of Business As Usual [Perseus Publishing, 2001], which comprises 95 theses describing what the authors (Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger) felt was the new “reality” of the networked marketplace. A decade ago it sounded quite radical to suggest that “Markets do not want to talk to


flacks and hucksters. They want to participate in the conversations going on behind the corporate firewall,” (thesis number 62), or that “Companies need to realize their markets are often laughing at them,” (thesis number 2). But today, more and more companies realize that the best way to confront these theses (which have turned out to be realities, not abstract theories) is to be honest and open, and to be pervasively and intimately involved in the activities of their markets and their customers. As Messrs. Levine et al prophesied, this cannot be done by having “flacks and hucksters” talk at the marketplace, but by having everyone, from the clerk to the executive, talk with the marketplace—via Twitter, Facebook, smartphone, blogs, wikis, and whatever new forms of interaction may come along in the next few years. Clearly, all of this involves the IT department within an organization, and thus requires the vision, strategy, and leadership of the CIO and his or her team. But it doesn’t tell us what the CIO does on a day-to-day basis. As I learned from my interviews, those duties usually break down into three major categories, the first of which can be described metaphorically as “keeping the lights on.” I must confess that I didn’t give this area much thought when I began the CIOs at Work project because I started my own IT career in the 1960s, when most organizations operated fairly straightforward mainframe computers in locked, air-conditioned, heavily secured data centers. As we moved into the 1980s and 1990s, of course, companies began acquiring thousands of desktop and laptop computers, and their solitary mainframe centers evolved into increasingly scaled-down, distributed, interconnected computers in every country, every manufacturing center, every sales office, and every nook and cranny of the organization. But my understanding was more intellectual than visceral. It didn’t really make an impact on me. Today, it’s common to see CIOs overseeing an IT infrastructure that includes tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of computers and servers and computerized gadgets—as well as thousands of applications and mind-boggling amounts of data. Bits and pieces of this infrastructure can, and do, break down from time to time; but as a whole, it’s “mission critical” in the sense that if you turn off the computers (or, equivalently, turn off the network that connects them), you might as well turn off the electricity and send everyone home. It would be a sublime understatement to say it’s a non-trivial task to keep all of this running smoothly; and what surprised me, consistently, was how calm and matter-of-fact today’s CIOs are about this part of their job.


Perhaps because of my own career in the field, my “gut instinct” was that CIOs would be spending the majority of their time working with their peers and counterparts in the various business units of the organization, looking for ways to make the business more efficient, more productive, and more competitive. Part of that, of course, includes making the IT department itself more efficient, productive, and competitive by accomplishing more work with fewer people, and by carrying out system development projects in a fashion that’s consistently on-time, under-budget, and free of the software bugs that drive everyone crazy. And because computer hardware is still an expensive part of the IT budget, CIOs are looking more and more closely at the benefits of virtualization and cloud computing—indeed, those technologies are a “done deal” in the majority of organizations that I interviewed. But simply making existing business processes more productive and efficient is apparently not as exciting as it once was. After all, business organizations have been using computers, for almost 50 years now, to make the number-crunching, paper-pushing, mundane operational activities of the organization less time-consuming and expensive. There is always more that can be done, of course, but the main emphasis today seems to be shifting the IT emphasis from inside the organization to outside the organization—to connect the organization’s employees, processes, and data more intimately to the consumers, suppliers, partners, and other organizations with which the business interacts. Of course, improvements in these areas are not being carried out by the CIOs on their own, nor are they being carried out by brilliant IT technicians working on behalf of passive, technology-illiterate business people. More and more often today, the people in the business units are almost as computer-savvy as the people in the IT organization. They, too, are part of the “digital nation” that has been using computers since birth. Indeed, many of them learned to program when they were children, just as our IT wizards did, but then they decided to focus their energies on marketing, or manufacturing, or finance, or genetic engineering. As a result, the most exciting part of the CIO work that I saw during my interviews involved true partnership efforts between IT professionals and business-unit professionals—as well as external customers, suppliers, and business partners in many cases—to find completely new things for the business, which simply did not exist before. New markets, new customers, new ways of interacting with existing customers, new products, new features for existing products … the possibilities seem endless. And, of course,


and which I should have noticed a long time ago.” At the time. but simply because people know they have more powerful technology xiv . Some of the CIOs’ responses surprised me. I remember hearing my New York City friends and colleagues reacting angrily to policy statements from their employers that business-supplied cellphones and BlackBerries should only be used for business purposes and not for personal use. I asked CIOs what excited them most about new technologies and new developments they anticipated in the next few years—and I then turned the question around and asked them what their biggest concerns were.” one friend said to me. the tsunami in Japan. ranging from terrorist attacks to traditional cyber-security to “inside-job” attacks. everyone wants the IT department to carry it out as quickly as humanly possible. I remember thinking that this was an extreme but perfectly understandable response. and reliability) to use for mission-critical applications.when these partnership efforts do conceive of new things to build. The “waterfall” development approach may not have disappeared entirely. “my first priority is not my company. Throughout my interviews. and dozens of other events have certainly reinforced the trend). but which will eventually be a pervasive. Many of the answers were predictable: everyone agreed that we have only begun to see the impact of “mobility” as we continue building smarter and smarter handheld devices. though they often reflected trends that are visible all around me. But that was ten years ago and now it is a general trend—not so much because of crises and terrorist attacks (though Hurricane Katrina.” technology. If my company is going to insist on these ridiculous rules. or do. what kept them awake at night. “If there’s another attack. not an indicator of a general trend. And everyone is concerned about security. make. it was certainly dispelled after the first one or two interviews that I carried out. and that it was a response to a localized phenomenon. the Haiti earthquake. and most of them agree that “cloud computing” is a tidal wave that may or may not be sufficiently “bulletproof” (in terms of security. but it has certainly moved into the distant background. then I’m going to need a second cellphone for my own personal use. but finding out whether my family is safe. at prices that can be afforded by people all over the planet. If there was ever any doubt in my mind that the “agile” approach to systems development would be widely adopted. if not “universal. privacy. Shortly after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Almost all of the CIOs are already adopting the technology of virtualization. for example.

Apple. or board member. and the skills needed to move up the career ladder to a CIO position. If you’ve been dreaming of being a CIO someday but lamented the fact that you don’t have a master’s degree in software engineering from MIT or Carnegie-Mellon. because technology was sold en masse to large companies. while others definitely were not. which then allowed some of that technology to “trickle down” to the worker bees at the bottom of the corporate hierarchy. you may be surprised at what the CIOs have to say in this area. and at affordable prices. such as CEO. reactions to the corporate environment. So what do the CIOs say to the employees who bring smartphones into the office. I was fascinated to hear how the CIOs of major companies are reacting to the trend. mentors. and who have far more powerful desktop PCs at home than the ancient clunkers they use in the office? Equally important. if you thought that your master’s degree in computer science from Cal Tech or Stanford would guarantee you such a job in the future. professor. That being the case. than they have in their workplace.available to them at home. how are the technology vendors reacting to this trend? As several CIOs lamented to me. liberal-arts degree?). Those in the middle of their career were generally enthusiastic about their current position. In addition to hearing their reactions to current trends. After all. My final question to the CIOs was: what’s next? The answers were correlated fairly closely to their ages: those who were approaching retirement typically viewed the CIO position as the culmination of their career and looked forward to a semi-retirement role as a consultant. Similarly. you may also be surprised. who have two BlackBerries (to ensure that the corporate security people don’t spy on their personal e-mail messages). many of the vendors (think Google. project/work assignments. xv . Here again. they used to expect the vendors to come to them first. Microsoft. a corporate ultimatum of “Thou shalt not use consumer devices!” is not likely to succeed. some of the responses and comments were predictable. I was also interested in the advice that CIOs had to offer about education (is a computerscience degree better than a broad. Now. and several others) are approaching the consumer market first … and then waiting to see if a grassroots revolution causes the technology to trickle up to the top of the corporate hierarchy. and had mixed reactions to the idea that they might someday be promoted to an even higher position.

whether they are in their twenties. thirties.And those who were relative youngsters. efficient. generally relished what they were doing and looked forward to the expansion of challenging assignments as they work to make their organization all that much more productive. Read what they have to say and benefit from their experience! New York. The sixteen CIOs interviewed in this book represent hundreds of years of experience. 2011 xvi . or older. and competitive. All of this was quite thought-provoking to say the least—especially for someone like me. NY Ed Yourdon June. still in their twenties or early thirties. forties. who has already spent 45 years in the IT industry. My only regret is that I didn’t conduct these interviews right after I graduated from college—it might have sent my career off on an entirely different direction! And I think the same possibility exists for today’s readers of this book.

I’ve only had maybe four major employers in my career. Macintosh developer.0 programmer. During his time there. overseeing the company's global technology systems. . he led teams responsible for software development technology. and technologies for knowledge workers. Benjamin Fried: I think there have been a lot. Fried: Kind of different depending on the situation. When I was working my way through school. I think I’ve been lucky in that in every job I’ve been in. Ben received his degree in Computer Science from Columbia University. I was spending a lot of time reading. there’s been one or more people I’ve been able to look up to and learn from. guess what? I think it was classic computer science texts. Benjamin Fried is Chief Information Officer of Google Inc. front-line support manager. and UNIX systems programmer. Ed Yourdon: Let’s start by asking about any role models or any early heroes or mentors that may have influenced you to get where you are now. Yourdon: Hmm. three or four employers. he spent more than 13 years in Morgan Stanley's technology department.. web and electronic commerce technologies and operations. where he rose to the level of Managing Director. Windows 1.CHAPTER 1 Benjamin Fried CIO. Google Inc. Prior to joining Google. but a lot of role models. His extensive hands-on experience in technology includes stints as a dBASE II programmer.

Did you guys [Bell Labs team and Ed Yourdon] publish together? I thought I remembered. which he loaned us. Really? Wow. I spent almost 14 years at Morgan Stanley. I was very. It’s hard to . Yourdon: Well. That’s why I thought. it’s $10. And then in jobs. I guess I had a lot of time when I was a kid. we had the first nonacademic UNIX license in the country. the books of the Bell Labs guys. Yourdon: Yeah. “This guy is serious. “Of course not. Inc. Fried: And a whole lot about how … “reality” is a better way of putting it. and we were in the publishing business with TROFF. but the book that he and Brian Kernigan wrote was certainly one of the major books in the field.J. The typesetter’s workbench? Is that what it was called? The document workbench? Impressive. on loan.2 Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried CIO.” And we got a typesetter. trying to understand what they were doing.] Plauger’s Elements of Programming Style [McGraw-Hill. and I think I learned a lot there about operating in a big company—what it means.000. 2011]. Fried: Wow. Fried: Really? Yourdon: And I said. interestfree. and so I had a bunch of academic and computer science heroes and people that I learned from. and the stuff he did. Yourdon: [laughter] Fried: And everything from reading [Brian] Kernighan and [P. the differences between great engineering and providing a great service. I’d say that. “Is it free?” And [Plauger] said. Fried: Yeah. in one place. because of Bill Plauger. but that great engineering without the ability to communicate and understand what people want [or] understand how to negotiate and compromise and discuss and so on … the great engineering on its own does you very little good if those other skills aren’t there. So. Google. there was always someone who was a mentor or someone I could look up to and learn how they were doing something. the corpus of books that came out of Bell Labs— Brian’s and Rob Pike’s and others—were really influential. I have a lot. I spent a lot of time teaching myself computer science in high school and in college. as well as Knuth’s books. very lucky.” That’s what UNIX cost in the ’70s. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. because it took two years to get my books out—in fact. [Donald] Knuth’s Art of Computer Programming [Addison-Wesley. and there were a lot of people I saw who were able to work with that. 1978].

Then. but in 2007 … the same recruiter called me back up and said that [the Google] CIO was moving on to a different role. my name was submitted again … after the IPO experience. you should come and interview. this is a small company … they’re growing.” … [T]hat began a long process of many. You know. . “We are looking to find a replacement … and we thought. well. maybe that’s something you’d be interested [in] talking to us about. And that led to my meeting with a lot of people here and ultimately getting the job. we’ll figure something out. many interviews and I thought. Yourdon: Okay. I came and I met a lot of people here. some of whom joined the place fairly early on. visited Google a bunch of times as part of that. come through the process. I had a great job at Morgan Stanley. and if it works out. in 2000. very aggressive about pushing the envelope. I was not. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. I wasn’t. Yourdon: Now had you been a CIO at Morgan Stanley? Fried: No. we don’t have a particular role we’re trying to fill. And then in 2005. “Oh. but at the rate Google was growing at the time. . for Morgan Stanley I worked on building a lot of the technology that was used to run Google’s IPO. I met a bunch of people who worked at Google. Fried: As Google grew and grew. but come on. and I thought. 2001 or something like that. they said. the traditional CIO roles. And so it wasn’t that interesting. we don’t have a job for you. where I knew what I was . It was really. That’s great. they said. … They said. you know. I think that’s just … part of my personality. Fried: Well. really interesting. That’s good. where technology is this incredibly important part of competitive advantage and they’re very. although in retrospect it was probably a mistake. they have a job for me now.” Even in 2004. “You seem like a really interesting person. 3 .” And meanwhile. And I honestly never thought I would be— this is probably an important thing to know about me—I had never thought I would be a CIO. I had never thought I’d be a CIO anywhere. even in Wall Street. And how did you end up here? You were at Morgan Stanley for a long time.CIOs at Work pin it down to just one. but there’ve always been people who I’ve looked up to for things. I was lucky enough that I had several friends who joined here. I thought [about] the roles probably. which was interesting. but they don’t really know what they want me to do.

any two of them were kind of interesting. if not the largest cost centers in their organization. And I thought. strong belief in building software. And then. operationally oriented and execution-oriented. And I thought. Inc. who was the person trying to bring engineering and computer science and so on into industry and that I thought I’d always probably be. You know. super good at kind of understanding the financial picture of IT because it’s such a big expense. I was really interested in the engineering and computer science parts of IT. you’re only as good as your execution. . But they spend a lot of time on governance. And in building software and doing systems infrastructure and that kind of stuff. . as I was at Morgan Stanley in my last role.4 Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried CIO. and in solving problems. was that most CIOs carry a heavy burden because they’re typically one of. my passion and my excellence is in computer science and engineering and in building things. But it was the way that the CIO role was constructed at Google—I thought. right? And I thought that those three—you know. etc. etc. while I think of this as an engineering discipline. who reports to the head of Engineering and Research. and I sit in an engineering executive group with the people who run Google Search and Google Apps and Google Enterprise and Ads. because Google views IT as an engineering discipline. I just don’t want to have to worry about those things. etc. But Google has constructed the CIO job. and they have a strong. which is .. but not interesting. But I didn’t find the operational part of it alone to be that compelling. I saw a number of CIOs on Wall Street and in other industries who I almost felt had a bulls-eye painted on their back as a result of being the large. this seems really interesting to me. It’s this combination of things: you always have to be super.. a direct report to the CIO but with more of a technical focus to my job. You have to keep systems running really. and maybe it’s a bit cynical. that’s a CIO job I might actually like. I thought. Because so much of their jobs is operations. I report to an SVP of Engineering. really well all the time because the company depends on it. I think the other trend I’ve observed is that there’s a lot of great IT departments and great CIOs who are really all about buying things. well. I thought of myself as someone who was the gearhead in the back. My observation was. enormous cost centers. Google. They manage big portfolios. they spend a lot of time on things that are important. although I hope our CFO would forgive me for saying this—this “running the books part of it” was by far the least interesting. finally. and that’s incredibly important. I might actually be qualified for. CIOs don’t get to spend a lot of time on that stuff.

But. one of the things that distinguishes Google and Microsoft from the typical “XYZ widget company” is that you guys are not in the business of building widgets or tangible things. Yourdon: So you tend to give a different kind of answer than I have been getting . I thought it was interesting that at the same time I’d still be able to kind of exercise my interests and passions as an engineer and someone with a computer science degree. I thought that at Google it would be the nontechnical skills that I had acquired at Morgan Stanley that would serve this engineering function. with the opportunities of technology and understand what this incredibly rapidly moving. That’s fine. Well. I was kind of the gearhead in the back. they still go back to the days when they thought of themselves in the business of distributing electricity around the country. more competitive. clearly it depends a lot on IT. advancing area can apply to it. buying is great. given that you’re in the business of building software and services? Fried: That’s a really interesting question because. I’m not responsible for any Google products. what differentiates it and what it seeks to be. basically. I thought of it as engineering—whereas at Morgan Stanley. I have peers who are responsible for all the products…. too. . but building is also where my passion is. And that leads into my next area of questions of. Yourdon: Okay. but historically. Yet at the same time I think IT here plays this incredibly important role in a number of ways. very differently. really well—the ability to negotiate. how does IT and the work you’re doing as a CIO make Google more successful. clearly. They’re in the business of making electricity. 5 . the ability to communicate well. create forms for governance. I think it’s part of the advantage I can bring to the table: I can help. And I think what’s great about IT is that having technologists at the center of a company who can fuse the understanding of a company. Fried: Yeah. but not so much—you know. You’re in the software product business— products or services.CIOs at Work great. Now. To do things to a company. So Google defined the IT job very. I can create an environment to manage engineers well. it’s one of the ways IT can be transformational. to be an influencer on an organization. I think one of them is—I actually think a lot of this ties to the mission of IT. There’s a real strong belief in building software. I thought they were asking me to serve really. but I think it gets lost in the noise of the other parts of the conversation with CIOs—what’s amazing about technology is its ability to transform a company. [last week] I spoke to the CIO of a utility company. . that’s a good answer.

we have very unusual hiring practices in Google Engineering. There are standards set for Google software engineers. . right? But we hire people in different ways. what does technology need to do to support that?” So as material examples of that. I’m sure Walmart has some version of that. and in fact. I should say. Yourdon: Oh. many thousands of applications every week. millions of job applications. Fried: So. sometimes every day. That in itself is a unique problem. that have come to us over time. We value very much having an unbiased evaluation of someone’s skills as an engineer before we decide to place them into a job. this sounds like it might be part of an answer to this question I had raised. Number one is that we’re a very young company and founded by people who grew up in the Internet Age and who are obviously all computer scientists. And there is this deep-seated cultural belief here that we want to change the company very. typically. this idea of a consistent bar and the processes that support that and that maintain high standards—these are very. did I read somewhere correctly that you had 75. We have a corpus of millions of resumés. people are made an offer to be a software engineer and then after they accept that offer are they placed into a job. that is true. Yourdon: Well. very quickly. there are panels that aren’t composed of people or are primarily not composed of people in the hierarchy of the job that you might move into. Google. We get many. In all kinds of ways we want to change it at a moment’s notice and we don’t want the company to… I think all too often CIOs or companies make a decision that they will embody some best practices implemented by their ERP vendors or something like that: “We’ll. That’s interesting. Hiring managers actually have very little voice in hiring the people who work for them. we’ll adopt the HR processes and technologies provided by the products that we bought to solve these problems. So we hire people. many. and then there’s a series of reviews and approvals of offers to make sure that we’re hiring people in consistent ways and keeping consistent standards. okay. Inc. I think.” Whereas I think Google starts by asking itself and frequently re-evaluating: “What do we want to be and how does. Yourdon: And by the way. That’s this amazing opportunity.000 applications in one week recently? Fried: Yeah.6 Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried CIO. there is standard training for interviewers. and what does that mean for Google? There are a few ways in which I think IT is important at Google and differentiates it. too. or a rare problem. . very important. which is how do you use IT to be more competitive? .

okay. but we’re always trying to tune it. And. So the people who provide technology support. And we change what we want to measure and how we measure it and how we’ll gather information every performance management cycle. “We hire the best damn people in the universe.” Fried: But I think it’s interesting that what we decided is. Not only that. Yourdon: Is that for everybody? Fried: At least in engineering. We both incredibly value the signals about someone’s performance that come from 360-degree evaluation while at the same time understanding the enormous impact it makes. it takes on a company to have everyone doing evaluations. So the performance management systems here are very much tuned to these ideas of the skills that we value and to making it incredibly easy to produce these signals about people’s performance and capabilities.CIOs at Work And part of it is. And how we compensate people. But I think that that’s unusual. This element of allowing the company to rapidly change and redefine what it wants to be is prevalent in other parts of what we do. What can we do to create better signals about how people are actually performing and how they need to improve. These are all places we’ve defined to get to the question of what is the role of IT at Google? One of the roles is to enable Google to be the kind of company that it wants to be without the constraints created by pre-existing systems and to allow us to rapidly change.” Yourdon: Oh. and interesting approaches to the philosophy and different kinds of components to the compensation. we have four performance review cycles a year. get it down. get it down to basic scripts. Fried: And similarly. too. And now let’s build the software that will make this process work. I’d say. and to how we do 360-degree performance management. offshore as much of the work as 7 . fix your laptop when it’s got a problem. And that same philosophy of allowing the company to change rapidly is embodied in how we do end-user support. we take differing approaches to how we do compensation management. Here’s how we have to do it. giving you software and so on. Everyone has to stop what they were doing and do these other things. I don’t know what the other departments do. unusual approaches to performance. and so on over time. similarly. we have. limit options. “Here’s what it means to hire the best people. Often I’m seeing end-user support to be considered an activity where you rapidly try to manage as many costs out of it as possible. By the way. that’s also part of my organization.

8 Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried CIO. really quickly or we want to . support you. believe are optimal and we will educate you. I’m very fundamental now. And that’s a very different model. they should be able no matter what it is. it’s a place we call it TechStop—bring your laptop and then you can ask them a [question]. “We’ve made a set of decisions that we. When I think about IT. And being used in some cases by thousands of people. really rapidly and change rapidly. and they should have the skills. Yourdon: Like the Apple Genius Bar? Fried: Yeah. That’s one of these cases where having generalists in the support organization has allowed the company to move really. They call upon other specialists. not that they can necessarily do it all themselves. . and get it so it can be done by people who don’t need to have a deep understanding so that you don’t have to pay them for that. but they can figure it out with you. Sometimes it’s because we’ve observed that the world has changed or security requirements change rapidly and we want to implement those changes really. Google. And that’s because we believe you probably know how you can be most productive. Sometimes it’s because we want to experiment with new Google software before we give it to other people. And. and we want to give you the toolset that will make you most productive. I mean. exactly. I think it’s about maximizing the productivity of your people in any number of ways.” whereas we believe. we got a lot of feedback on and we decided not to ultimately launch and maybe we shut them down. Fried: So that philosophy and approach is that people who work at Google can choose to have a Linux machine or a Macintosh or a machine running Windows. Whereas our approach is: technology is always changing. It allows us organizationally to rapidly change the environment. I think that’s a very different kind of social contract from what you see in many other IT shops. and we wanted to rapidly go from having thousands of people using them to shutting them down and moving on. Inc. and so on around the set of decisions we’ve made for you. “You . And the general approach is that the person you bring your problem to—and usually it’s in person. the IT leadership. we want to be able to make rapid changes to the technology environment here for a whole host of reasons. Yourdon: Hmm. So the computer support people that we hire are generalists with deep skills. possible. where the philosophy is more along the lines of. So I think that that’s also an element of what IT is. There have been numerous cases where we’ve had products that we experimented on with Google. that person should work with you and solve your problem with you. .

It’s about creating maximum individual performance. absolutely. and companies want to be different. People often first saw a laptop when it was given to them [through] work. Fried: “I wanted to use a Mac. There’s no question. users end up getting more personally involved in solving their own problems because there’s some level of recognition that. but by trying to give you a toolset that is one you would choose to use. is to use technology to positively differentiate the organization that you’re part of. Yourdon: Yes. we very consciously recognize that IT has a different role as a result of those changes. you know. But that’s all changed. nonprofits. I think that the opportunity that CIOs have. It’s about enabling an organization to rapidly change what it wants to be and kind of what’s important to it. It’s about allowing users to choose how to work.” or “I thought Windows was best for me. Yourdon: Oh.” That doesn’t mean you go and buy a computer at Best Buy and bring it in to work. you probably don’t need the same kind of support as if we’ve given you one way of doing it that’s our way. we support Mac OS and Windows and Linux here. and I think that the role is about enabling the individual. expectations were completely different. governments. one of the great generational differences we’re exposed to is now it’s not just the first generation of people who grew up with computers in the workforce. and we have teams who are experts in it. Whereas when I first entered a large enterprise in 1994 or something like that. Competitive advantage and making your company more competitive is part of it. Or first saw Windows when they got it at work. They all have some sense 9 . But it’s the first generation of people who grew up with computers and with the Internet and with e-mail and with instant messaging are in the workforce. Fried: So. but there are lots of ways in which organizations. Yourdon: Good point.” Yourdon: Right.CIOs at Work probably know how to work best. Fried: And the best computing experience you could expect to have would be the one that your company provided for you.” And I think that recognizes the fact that there’s something you’ll refer to later on. that technologists have. not your way. Fried: And. That isn’t just about competitive advantage. I chose this. “Well. We do purchasing. the difference in the social contract is also that because you’ve made a choice about how you want to work.

What IT leaders need to do is recognize that that kind of differentiation is really important. But obviously the Google products run on server farms of hundreds of thousands of servers in various places. Yourdon: Yeah. the jargon of that company. of identity or they have some sense of individuality and identity. The things that drive Google commercial products. having CIOs. You said that you’re not responsible for the Google products per se. no. and it’s the only thing that will be durable given that the technology landscape is only accelerating the rate at which it changes. but we don’t operate those servers. Yourdon: Right. that’s not your job? Fried: No. Inc. that certainly is true. Are you responsible for that kind of day-to-day operational aspect of it? Fried: Uhh. Every company has some piece of internal technology that’s become a noun or a verb that’s entered the language. There are one or two small corner cases where we are. Yourdon: Okay. Let me ask a related question if I can. Yourdon: But in terms of keeping the lights on. I scribbled down a word also that came from Microsoft’s Tony Scott and I’d be curious to see . It’s relatively well known that Google designs and builds its own servers.10 Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried CIO. Yourdon: Okay. Google. And I think we have to recognize that technology should be a part of it. having IT departments at the center of a company that can recognize and enhance and create those opportunities. But it could just be about accentuating the differences that define your organization. It could be about making your company more competitive and productive or profitable. Fried: The servers that drive things that Google “corporate” uses. I have groups that are responsible for keeping the lights on for things that operate what Googlers use. Fried: And I think that’s in part evidence that technology can have these sorts of roles. the core of what IT’s mission should be. And I have a team that’s responsible for the supply chain and inventory and asset management of that manufacturing and repair and deployment work. And I think that. and that’s what I would have expected. yes. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. no. It often is. is kind of the core. like her laptop [pointing]? Fried: Her laptop or maybe even the server that it might be talking to.

large and small. so. It’s not as large a percentage of what Google does as it is at Microsoft and what they do.” And I’m sure you know what that means. I know what that means. and where Google products are doing things that relate more to enterprise uses or organizational uses of technology. I’ve seen others refer to it as “drinking your own champagne” and “eating your own cheese. Yourdon: Though it’s growing rapidly. You know. His word for it was “dogfooding. it is. often it makes the most sense to have an un-intermediated conversation between the product management and engineering teams responsible for those services and people who work at Google who can evaluate them as individual consumers would. Yourdon: Do people look to you and your IT department as the first dogfood eaters for some new product that may be coming out? Fried: Dogfooding is an enormous landscape within Google. my organization is much more directly involved in dogfooding and providing feedback. Yourdon: That would make sense. But there’s a bunch of dogfooding that happens without us. a consumer services company. and we’re willing to be fairly experimental in trying out dogfooding enterprise uses of technologies that we’re aiming at a consumer audience. It’s growing tremendously. Fried: Yeah. And there’s a bunch of different flavors of it. maybe “eating your own salami. Keep in mind that Google is predominantly a consumer products company.” But I’m a partner in a sausage-making company. It’s an incredibly important part. one of the differences is … Microsoft has an incredibly large portion of its business devoted to serving enterprises. Fried: And we also often get involved in looking at how we can come up with enterprise uses of consumer technologies.” So dogfooding is an incredibly important part of what we do.CIOs at Work whether you were involved in [it]. Fried: And so in the realm of the consumer services that we offer. We all think it’s an incredibly important part of what Google does. Because I believe this is one of the interesting opportunities and missions of my organization because of the company it’s situated in. Fried: Yeah. Yourdon: Right. it is thriving. Because one of the macro factors that made me believe Google was an incredibly important company was the 11 . right? We have an important enterprise division.

Yourdon: Okay. you asked about dogfood. we’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to take Google’s consumer video chat product and turn it into corporate videoconferencing. we do often find ourselves in the position of having to provide some amount of question and answering for people who are dogfooding consumer-oriented products. Yourdon: Yeah. whereas now you have all this innovation and R&D going into consumer products that find their way into enterprise uses. having support people who can react to that and learn on their feet is really. And it’s hugely successful for that. So. if you think about it. Google.” or “I can’t do this. I think that because there’s this motion from consumer to enterprise. You asked what are the great macro phenomena affecting technology. honestly. I’m very focused on having my organization be in the avant-garde of trying to understand where there are new enterprise uses for previously consumer offerings. There are a lot of reasons why. consumer-driven computing. Fried: And we now actually do that in partnership with the corporate videoconferencing group. seems quite obvious. really .12 Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried CIO. And so you have to have support—this gets to the idea that there’s so much technology entering the environment that’s experimental. 20 years. consumer-driven software-as-a-service offerings. As one example. But it’s something we’ve been working on for a long time. dominance of consumer IT over enterprise IT that’s come about in the last 10.” or whatever. as opposed to consumer products. I think everyone has observed or recognized that technologies often started out serving corporate purposes that had buying power and moving their way out to the consumer. I see the distinction you’re making between dogfooding of things that are either already in the enterprise or moving in that direction. Fried: I think that this is one of them. “I don’t understand why this isn’t working. the product group at Google who are doing that. I think that that’s changed with the likes of Google and a few other providers. Inc. And. They may just walk up and say. This is the one that I think is probably the most important. 15. Yourdon: Well. It’s one of these things that. The rise of consumer-driven technology. Fried: No. a lot of what Google Enterprise does is take Google consumer offerings and make them viable inside an enterprise. and I monologued on you for a long time.

outsourced.html. and I always thought that it was just a stark contrast from the oldfashioned IBM model … or actually it was a German company that I remember. Now I think that’s begun to change a little bit. You have an interview question about agile methods. “We ship no product before it’s ready. For me. the precision engineering. but what that says.CIOs at Work important. what you think is good.” www. Yourdon: And that you’re proud of it.” You know. Yourdon: That certainly makes me realize a question that I would not even know how to ask a lot of the other CIOs that I’m talking to. one of the things that I found so intriguing about Google [is that] for a period of ten years or so … every one of your products [was] a beta product. it’s this Teutonic kind of mindset. “Our philosophy: Ten things we know to be true. like the old TV commercial. There’s a story somewhere—and I’m sure this frustrated the user interface people to no end—that we actually did experiments to understand which color blue in an icon people responded to 1 Google. Yourdon: Yes. on so many different levels. and one of them is the value of this idea of launch and iterate. Ten. Fried: I had looked at that question as a great observation. Yourdon: And you guys totally reversed that. no one’s going to care anymore. Does that reflect an IT culture that is still a big part of Google? Fried: I think you touch on that when you asked about agile. not the words of the authors. deep belief in being datadriven in our decision making. is just mindboggling. I was over there consulting for them about a software engineering tool. But this value of launching and iterating—releasing what you think is” And he said. Fried: Yeah. “By the time you do. And I’ll never forget a project manager who said. Fried: level-one kind of support. getting data… We have a deep. fifteen years ago. Fried: And those are my words.” And I said. including decision making about even subtle features about applications. not. … [T]here’s a document I believe called “Ten Things We Know to Be True”1 trying to describe Google’s core values. 13 . “I don’t care. I don’t know how we would survive if we tried to move to script-based. That great products often become great through triangulation.

I’ll have to give some more thought to that.14 Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried CIO. But there was actually data that we could get about which color blue people clicked on more. or on their personal computer. I don’t think it’s even consciousness so much. of realizing that the world is changing. and the necessity of it. or were responding to more. Fascinating. You had already started touching on a couple of things on my next major area: what are the significant new trends that are likely to influence Google and ultimately all of us over the next few years? Fried: So … thank you for such good questions. the best. Yourdon: That is true. you can’t be perfect. and you have to launch and change and change and change—and have an environment where you can do that—is absolutely core to us. Inc. There’s a very deep part of the understanding reflected in the question that you asked. or in their own data center. And the pain of doing software installation. We have a small number of things that people install on their computers. And the UI designer probably was not happy [about] who thought this was an expression of their artistic creativity. And so this idea of being data-driven. which is that Google is predicated on the notion of software as a service. We’ve virtually never had that. Google. but even the products like Chrome that you do install are essentially designed to give you the always up-to-date model of software and service of the software you installed yourself. where we’re running the software on servers that we control and we deploy it on a timeframe of our choosing—whereas all traditional technology companies are predicated on the idea of software that customers installed on their laptop. doing upgrades. traditional shrink-wrapped software can be updated through Internet downloads. all the difficulties in it lead to a “better get it right” mentality. Well. The one that was the most educational to me was understanding the domination of consumer-oriented technology over enterprise technology coupled with the enormous economies of scale only available to enormous . but I think it finds its way in the DNA and the muscle memory of organizations even if consciously they understand that it’s a web world and even traditional downloaded. and that was how we made a decision to do that. But there is this very deep industry muscle memory that comes from customer installation. whereas we don’t have that. I might come back to you with a follow-on question or two. Yourdon: Any one of these could keep us going for quite some time. Fried: So the technology trends that I see shaping the next few years.

many enterprises have wanted for a long. but the result of that is you can never separate yourself from an incredibly expensive support cycle around those things. But the net result is a piece of software of such enormous complexity that it’s almost unimaginable that you would not need a support infrastructure for it. with Gmail. So part of the changing world of technology and the scale parts are just—without going into the numbers—because Google has so many computers and such large data centers. as companies have had to do things like go from three-year depreciation cycles to four. And often you’ll find the most advanced technology people encounter now is their home technology. four-. or even three-year-old computer. not the computer that their work provided to them. The best computer they use is the computer they bought. So … this is an interesting observation and this is what makes it such a powerful force in the enterprise. many millions of people use Gmail on their own without any customer support. Yourdon: Right. you don’t really need it—many. Outlook is an incredibly complicated piece of software. instead of people’s experiences inside the workplace. long time. and there are all kinds of interesting corollaries from that. they add features to it. It does many things that many. But then the expectations extend to these free software-as-services. you can’t get the pricing of computers and … resources that we get if you’re not of the size we are. Those offerings—like Gmail—could never be successful if you had to have an enormous customer support organization around them. Microsoft is doing all the right things.and five-year depreciation cycles. I think that that’s number one. Yourdon: Right. that traditional enterprise software is incredibly complicated and feature-rich because enterprises have asked for all those features. it’s being responsive to their customers’ needs. these terms like the “cloud” have been hijacked by everyone. It’s just not the same. They can mean almost anything. more and more consumers would never stand for having a five-. Fried: So that allows you to do something different.CIOs at Work software-as-a-service providers like Google. So the … phenomena we’ve already talked about: the fact that personal expectations of technology and the role of technology [are] defined by people’s expectations outside of the workplace. Fried: And personal computer equipment. On the other hand. software as a service powered by ads and other mechanisms. You know. and I worked at a 15 . every day.

“How can you possibly think that we’re going to pay full price for that?” And. Somehow I got into an argument with somebody who was saying. maybe they would. but consider these to be directionally correct. “Well. We looked at all the costs. And I think I’m going to have to keep it quiet and see if they volunteer it. Yourdon: And he said.” Fried: Yeah. It reflects exactly the phenomenon that you observed. now. Google. that person’s salary and the cost of putting them there. and he and I turned out to be the only Americans there. It looked like the cost of one Morgan Stanley PC plus all the infrastructure required to support it was about equal to the average annual salary of the employees of this company. said. right? And that furthermore. but we were not comparable to the kind of pricing that Google gets at all. We got a lot of pushback from the business development people trying to do the deal. It didn’t.16 Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried CIO. large Wall Street bank that had a lot of very advanced computing. In 1992 I was in Cairo at a conference with my friend Tom DeMarco. Fried: I had a lot of “Aha” moments just like that over the last ten years prior to my joining Google. One copy of Microsoft Word is the annual salary of a university-educated person here. the books and all that. and we got great pricing from our vendors. Yourdon: Well. “You don’t understand. . they’ve got Google apps. if you guys weren’t stealing so much software. and I don’t have the precise numbers in my head. then those costs. “Why doesn’t Microsoft provide more support in Africa for its stuff?” And I. were greater than the combined payroll of this entire sixtyish-person company. Yourdon: [laughter] Fried: And this is not in any way a commentary on Morgan Stanley having bloated costs. anywhere in Africa. I had a very similar moment. and put them there. if we wanted to take a Morgan Stanley front-line technology support person and move them. In terms of the fundamental worldview change of free stuff: I’ll tell you just a quick story because it’s in the news right now. being the smartass that I am. It’s fascinating you described that. Morgan Stanley was considering buying a company in China. Inc. the thing that you just said a moment ago.” And he said. I’ve not heard yet from any other CIO. Yourdon: Yeah. of course.

these first-world. “Well. but at reasonable costs. Yourdon: Well. Do you see just more of this phenomenon that we started experiencing in the last couple of years or any radical changes? Fried: I think that these changes are a tidal force. right? You know. 17 .” And allow companies. all we need for you to go out there and be successful is an Internet connection and some very basic personal technology and you can have everything you need: apps and telephony and videoconferencing and everything. I would just get an Internet connection or I would just get a computer that could connect to the Internet and then I wouldn’t have to worry about having a private network and having to provision file servers and print servers and a whole personal computer software stack in the developing world. either IT decision makers or the people above IT decision makers—who arose through the previous mindset. It struck me as this incredibly important impediment that was actually probably slowing down things like business development and revenue opportunities in the developing world. What I really wanted to be able to do was have the technology offered and say. the money I pay them funds that R&D. though… We kind of drifted off.CIOs at Work Fried: Meanwhile I saw the rise of. my wants go into their R&D. if I was doing this from scratch.” The thing that I thought was a great opportunity for this Google-like world we were in was that all of these companies trying to find new sources of revenue in the developing world. Yourdon: Really? Fried: You still have enough decision makers in large enterprises who are—you know. I work with software vendors that do exactly what I tell them to do because I’m paying them and if I didn’t pay them and the other people like me didn’t pay them. you want to open an oil exploration office in Kyrgyzstan. cost-driven companies to actually be far more experimental on how they approach new markets. they try very hard to sell to me. and I think they can be. but they have not yet had their full effect because there’s been a tipping point that hasn’t been reached due to what I believe to be generational demographics. in terms of the next few years. I build our data centers. one of those “my vendors comes to me. being faced with first-world cost structures. I tell them what I want.” or “You want to try to do something in Ho Chi Minh City. “All right.” right? I think that generationally you have people who grew up in that model: “I control everything that my people use.” Yourdon: Yeah. they wouldn’t do that.

18 Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried CIO. But I couldn’t predict when it’s going to happen. and I feel that at some point either they will start to retire or there will be companies that are able to move to this new model and demonstrate competitive advantage that these other companies don’t have that will cause a tipping point. Yourdon: I also usually like to ask about what you think are the most significant landmarks looking back over the last five or ten years that have radically changed the way we do things. that you never have to worry about the data that enters and leaves your company as a result of its being on it. I don’t really know. But the world’s changing around them. I don’t know when. It’s interesting—when I joined Google. check writers. and the Internet and the Web. that is always up to date. Maybe that will be a tipping point. But the fundamental truths of what’s driving it are. but I do still feel that these are tidal forces that will change our industry. but I think the idea of a personal computer that has no state on it. there’s a generation of decision makers. that is incredibly easy to support because it’s just running a browser. It seems to me this is inevitable. that’s incredibly appealing to a CIO. Google. right? It eliminates so many of the security concerns. or the first five or ten years out of college? . right? It will happen. I couldn’t have predicted the emergence of Chrome OS. who are still of that mindset. exactly. it dramatically reduces support costs. and I feel that the water’s rising around them. Yourdon: Just the original Google search engine as an example. software-as-a-service model. are inescapable. and that is furthermore lower cost because not only is the hardware needed in it to run a browser really well. it dramatically reduces equipment costs. I couldn’t tell you exactly when. I tend to think of Google itself. That will be one of these things I couldn’t have predicted… that as a tipping point and people being attracted by that model will lead them to more rapidly embrace this pure web delivery. that you never have to worry about having viruses. In the same way that the first Apple IIs entered industry to do real work. obviously—but are there any other not-so-obvious things that you can think of while you were growing up or in college. Fried: And I think that generationally. for example. You know. It’s just a matter of when. Yourdon: Yeah. Inc. what it is that will cause the tipping point. Fried: Yeah. Fried: But at some point then it became IT’s business to provide microcomputers. and came on a typewriter budget.

Fried: And there’s this other unique—I’m a big fan of Steven Levy’s book. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. 1984]. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. It strikes me as we’re all kind of lucky. there have been these major junctures in the road. free software. that anyone should be able to use them and experiment with them and learn to program. Cold War–driven open funding. it came out of this belief that computers should be open.CIOs at Work Fried: I don’t know if I have any new things to report that others won’t have observed. If things had been a little different. we’re lucky. Hackers [Doubleday. the personal computer. some of which came from the fact that a lot of these people were originally model railroad hobbyists and… Yourdon: TMRC. open-source software. it was called. Linux. [laughter] Fried: And. the creation of DARPA. you know. Everyone in the industry or affected by the industry is lucky that that ethos took hold there and installed the ability to create the Free Software Foundation. without which we wouldn’t have had the NSFnet. That is a good point. inter-computer connectivity. without which we wouldn’t have had Google. right? Yourdon: Yeah. No one has mentioned that. We’re incredibly lucky that Steve Jobs visited PARC. without which we wouldn’t have had the ARPANET. The creation of the ARPANET. The Free Software Foundation. large checks being paid to research universities to support computing. Tech Model Railroad Club. and that obviously is a social or human creation. I think you can connect the dots there to open-source software. Some of that is open funding. Like I said. Fried: There was this unique point in time where our culture was created that we now see evidenced in Linux and open-source software—and in a dramatically lower cost to compute that comes from that. that’s true. we might not have had that. a whole bunch of things came from this interesting and unique place and time. without which we wouldn’t have had the Internet. So. computer connectivity. that led to all this other stuff. Multics led to UNIX led to Linux—we’re incredibly lucky that that happened. I think part of it is this ethos that emerged at MIT. And as a result now people talk about open-source hardware as well. but this notion that people should be able—if you believe what Levy has in the book. giving great access to people. It’s interesting when we can see such good coming out of things like the Cold War. large. 19 . they thought they were onto something there. right? Timesharing. Fried: Yeah.

which I haven’t seen yet. And if you look at. the paradigm—after Thomas Kuhn2 and all. we have a deep. So we really believe that we have a role to play there. for example. We believe that the Internet is something that we need to do our part to get in and make better.” but I do see very similar principles in all of these things that we do. In general. Yourdon: Now there’s one last aspect of that. To make them actually be phones that interact with the Internet really. but are you trying to take advantage of that phenomenon? Fried: I think it’s easier for me to be a departmental spokesman than a company spokesman. I think that the belief that you expressed there about creating the opportunity for the world to collaborate with itself and for a community to find itself and for the cognitive surplus to be created—these are concepts that I believe in many ways are echoed fundamentally in other things that we do. And we now have this incredible Internet infrastructure that supports it. Google. One is called Cognitive Surplus. in creating an open-source phone operating system. called “Minds for Sale.20 Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried CIO. I hate to use the “p” word—but I 2 Note: Kuhn is the author of the book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago Press. Yourdon: Hmm. whether it’s Wikipedia or Linux or whatever. Inc. that people can collaborate with. the major metaphor change. Making a great free smartphone operating system. is described by a couple of books that you’ve probably heard of. you guys are making wonderful products. Fried: Clay—I found him fascinating. Fried: I never heard us state. 2010].” which talks about the next aspect of everything we’ve already discussed: we’ve got six billion people on this planet now with lots of available brain power that they’re willing to contribute for good causes. . Is Google tuned into that? I mean. Arguably. I mean. and so many of these things that we do right. really well. deep belief in things like the power of the Internet for collaboration. “These are our explicit goals of Google as an organization. by Clay Shirky [Penguin Press. that run really good software. We believe democratization of access is an incredibly important part of our mission. making a great free web browser. which will be the dominant computing tool of this next generation. which occurred to me just a minute ago and I’d like your take on it. that are open. Yourdon: There’s apparently a new YouTube video. If you look at what we’ve done with Android. one of the next steps along the way of from Multics to UNIX to Linux to whatever is epitomized by Wikipedia. 1996).

I’ve always tried to stay abreast of the literature. And the general level of 21 . Fried: And I think this is true in these areas related to information security. is that society trails technology. because. the technology’s evolved at such a rapid rate and these are powerful. Yourdon: Well. Yourdon: That’s a good point. Yourdon: [laughter] Fried: But I’d say the first one for me is security. that there are very. information warfare. if anything keeps you awake. So it starts with making collaboration work. so they’re keeping me awake. but I’ve found attackers to be way more sophisticated than I had thought. One of the lessons I took away from the attacks on Google that were spoken of so much in January of 2010 was the power of organizations with significant resources at their disposal. The opportunity for compromise. for attack. is that the first principle is that people collaborate on these things.” about the problems and concerns and issues that you see confronting us in the IT world and that keep you awake. powerful ability to be misused. Fried: I’d say that I see those same values expressed in a different way. powerful tools with a powerful. like Google apps. very. that even very. It’s the downside of the interconnected world we live in. Google’s security and the world’s security worries me. They’re designed first around allowing people to work together— that documents whatever flavor are a product of collaboration. many opportunities for attack.CIOs at Work think the paradigm change of our productivity applications. I think one of the metaphors for the second half of the 20th century and now for this 21st century. Yourdon: Right. Fried: I have three small children. very significant users can be vulnerable. We believe that we have this incredibly significant enabling role in enabling responsibility. Society evolves slower and the conventions of society and its mechanisms evolve far slower than technology does across a broad landscape in technology. at night as a CIO. with many. I’m really concerned about vulnerabilities and people’s ability to take advantage of them. Yeah. The attack surfaces of the software and internetworks that we use today are broader than we could have imagined. let me turn 180 degrees around now and ask about that “dark side. security worries me. It’s not features. very sophisticated attackers out there. These things are deeply concerning to me.


Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried
CIO, Google, Inc.

awareness in the industry in the broadest sense of the word—not just the technology, but industry’s ability to recognize that this was taking place and respond to it was very far behind the state of the art of the attack. The state of the art of the defense and companies’ abilities, organizations’ abilities to respond was very far behind, very, very far behind. So, not much keeps me up at night. Not as much as it probably should keep me up at night, but I do find security to be one of these, these big things that we all need to spend time thinking about. Yourdon: And, of course, every single CIO has said the same thing, in maybe slightly different ways. But I’m particularly interested given what you were saying earlier, that you are so influenced by the consumer level of use of technology and obviously consumers, generally speaking, are far less sophisticated about security issues than your typical big company. Fried: Yeah, exactly. It’s interesting. There’s a whole set of technology offerings these days where “bring your own computer to work” is the part of the meme. And, one of my concerns about it is it makes security presumptions that are very much more backward-looking than forwardlooking. Attacks that we know of in the past, really we think we can defend against, right? In the same way that we think that anti-virus is dead, we just don’t want to actually announce that it’s dead, right? But the traditional signature-based anti-virus is a technology that is just of minimal protection today. I worry that’s there’s the same retrospective element of the security propositions made by these “bring your own computer to work” technology offerings. So I do have some concern that the end state of the domination of consumer-oriented technology is one that somehow makes enterprises vulnerable. Maybe not ours so much. We’re very lucky in having the most impressive computer security organization I’ve ever encountered. And we’re very, very lucky—we’re certainly not invulnerable. We have many, many very, very deep and capable thinkers. So there is this set of concerns I have that one recognition of the dominance of consumeroriented technology is let them bring their own technology to work, let them bring whatever they want—it could lead to a world of less security because we don’t know what the set of attacks might actually be specifically against “bring your own computer to work” sorts of offerings. Honestly, we’ve only begun to explore the possibilities for evil of these enormous botnets. Yourdon: Yeah.

CIOs at Work Fried: I mean, the largest distributed computing environments in the world are these botnets. Wait till we get a few world-class distributed computing people and a few world-class malware hackers together in thinking about what they can do with hundreds of thousands or millions of interconnected machines and, uhh, eww. Scary. Yourdon: It is scary. Fried: Anyway, you can’t let yourself be driven off by that. One has to develop a plan of action and follow it as opposed to just let these things dominate one’s nightmares and one’s dreams. But of the things that worry me, I’d say security is one, is definitely one of them. It’s the one that’s most industry-specific. And there’s a bunch of things that keep me up at night I’d say, or I spend a lot of time thinking about that. I think other CIOs probably do, too. You know, do I have the right kind of governance, the right mix of governance for my organization. Do we provide the right set of services for our customers? Are we engaging with them correctly? Those things definitely do sometimes keep me up at night. They’re common concerns among the people with my title. Yourdon: One of the other common concerns that I’ve heard from a lot of the CIOs is the following: They say, “Here I am, running the technology part of our business and I’ve got a whole bunch of business peers around me that are responsible for various products or various services, and they’ve risen to their position of authority because they’re very good, obviously, but also because they have very strong personalities. And they feel that obviously they know how to run their business better than anybody else and, in fact, they even think that they know how to run my business in IT better than I do. And since my technology pervades everything they’re doing, I find myself butting heads with these people quite a lot—either trying to persuade them to do something that I think they need to do, or trying to prevent them from doing something that I think would be a disaster. And, of course, I can’t order them because I’m not their boss. So the problem or the concern is: how do I influence these other peers of mine about issues of technology that I probably do know more about, whether or not they believe me?” Fried: Yeah, so, I think it’s one of the great universals. If you want to talk about larger-than-life personalities, I think Wall Street probably has a disproportionate number of them. Yourdon: [laughter] Fried: And I did work in Wall Street for many years…



Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried
CIO, Google, Inc.

Yourdon: And that’s where I first heard the concern… Fried: Wall Street has this particular flavor of the problem as well, that you may have a profit-generating line of business that can just hire and [better pay] the people it wants to do the very, very specific sorts of things it wants. Yourdon: Right. Fried: There’s the whole class of people called “quants,” who are people with computing skills who sit next to traders and other people and make bets and kind of assist them in the technology to do that. And in fact, at hedge funds, typically those people may be the traders in a Wall Street bank, they might sit on the side. So anyway, that’s one of these concerns that we had on Wall Street, but I think it’s a universal. I think it’s always been there. It’s been there for a very long time. In one way or another it always will be there. I do think that that problem is getting worse as a result of the rise in consumer technologies because at least 30 years ago, maybe IT was the first person to put a computer on your desk, whereas nowadays that’s not the case. You go home and buy your own computer and have your own opinions about the stuff. So I think that those people are more empowered. I think that CIOs have a forward-looking problem, which is that this model of the software enterprise hardware R&D cycle that I’m participating in and deploying to my users is going to be rudely interrupted by the person whose opinions were all generated by modern technology. And it grows rapidly at the top and they didn’t actually use any of the things I provided, right? You’re not needed, and I didn’t use you. You’re not needed. Yourdon: Arguably that’s been going on since the introduction of the PC. Fried: Yeah. Yourdon: But not to the extent that it is now. Fried: Exactly. And it’s certainly with people buying Apple II+ on their typewriter budgets so they could run Visicalc, so they didn’t have to rely on the overnight cycle of the mainframe to do the books. But it’s gotten tons worse. The set of activities that people can perform without needing central IT offerings has grown. So it’s one of the hardest parts of the CIO’s job. On the other hand, here are my beliefs about it. There’s always going to be some technology among your client organizations. It’s a question of how much and what, and the number is never really going to be completely zero, and generally you shouldn’t expect it to be. It’s a question of how much technology they’re going to want or have or control. You have to think about what’s right for them as part of it. The other thing I think is that at

CIOs at Work least in the United States, in a post–Sarbanes-Oxley world, you look at the scandals of the last 12 years, you look at the regulations that have come up in the world, and enterprises are more regulated than they were before and that, literally mandates having more standards than would be maybe necessary, and so when CEOs and CFOs can go to jail because their attestation about the accuracy of the books and records of the company was incorrect, that has certain repercussions for what happens with technology. So, I think CIOs have overplayed that card, to tell you the truth. Yourdon: Oh, okay. Fried: But that said, it’s a changing reality that does define certain hard limits to the parameters of what organizations can do on their own. And I think that the final piece of it is, the thing that is painful but good, is that it’s far better to have technology offerings that win on their merits rather than are forced upon your users. Yourdon: Good point. That is a good point. Fried: Now, it’s difficult in conversations about matters of security. At some point you may need to get the CEO or top corporate leadership involved in setting the parameters or frameworks around things like security, around protection of physical security, computer security, protection of intellectual property. Things like that you probably need to have corporate policies on that that need to be centralized in their enforcement. But in general, it’s better that you woo and win your customers. It’s probably better that way. The environment is harder for you to do that, to woo and win, than to be the sole provider. That’s not to say that it’s efficient or good to have multiple competing providers for the same set of things. But it’s as they say, better to win in the marketplace of free ideas. Yourdon: Okay, interesting. One last question in this area, and then I’m going to go on to the generational thing. This whole question that I had about agile development: since the CIO is usually the one that’s in charge of developing new at least internal systems, this transition from a waterfall approach to an agile approach has initially been seen just as a methodology issue, but the more I see it, the more impact it seems to have on how you go about managing people and organizations. A lot of CIOs that I’ve spoken to say that that’s been a problem for them. And, of course, everything you guys do, I suspect, has this overwritten thing of this agility on it, so maybe that’s just part of your DNA. Fried: I’d say it is part of the DNA. So, in general, it’s the right thing to do, right? Especially for internal software, I think that it’s much better to start



Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried
CIO, Google, Inc.

off with the implicit assumption none of us really know what it is we need to do here, but let’s do enough so that we can actually define based on evidence and feedback and data what it is that we need to build. Build a front, build a slice of the application front to back—does this solve the problem, is that what you wanted to do? You know, observe how it works and either change that piece until it does what you want or if it was right, then move on to the next piece. I think that it solves a huge number of problems for us, which is … like waiting for Godot, waiting for the software to appear, in the traditional waterfall model. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Fried: And that’s just not acceptable. I mean, business changes faster today than it did 30, 40, 50 years ago when this was considered to be state of the art, and we have to realize that with long, long delivery cycles, no one can actually assure you in most cases that the software at the end of that delivery cycle will need to do the things that it needed to do on the day you kicked the project off. So, it’s absolutely necessary. That said, here are the things that are hard about it. On the one hand, there are large classes of users I experience who don’t want to look at just a single front-to-back slice of something even if you’re on a weekly release schedule and they can see another version of the thing, a week from Wednesday. There are a lot of people who are just more comfortable seeing the whole thing. Yourdon: Mmm. Fried: I think that in technology we’ve generally embraced and understood the advantages of this, but I think our users are catching up to it, especially being agile in the early parts of the development of an app, when you really don’t have very much to show, but it’s even more critical that you take those agile approaches. I think that that’s part of it. I think that a more recent conclusion that I came to about agile methodologies is that it’s easy for them to devolve into a rapid-release cycle that doesn’t actually appear to change much. So there’s a whole art in planning the scrum, in understanding what goes into the next release, and I’d say that it’s very easy to embrace the philosophy and embrace the rapid release and all that comes with it, but if you don’t also embrace the notion of focusing on what’s going to change, rapid releases that don’t seem to actually have any difference to your end user produce an interesting pathology that is obvious when you think about it, but you might not have expected when you went down this path. Yourdon: You keep mentioning this point about getting real feedback with real metrics. So we’re beginning to see agile projects in regulated industries

CIOs at Work with distributed project teams and all kinds of things where people had previously said, “Well, that will never fly.” Fried: “That will never happen.” Yourdon: And it is, it is. Fried: That’s really comforting. That’s great to hear. I guess another pathology of agile—and an IT framework in particular, as opposed to a product framework—I think is your users can become kind of pixellevel negotiators. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Fried: It doesn’t actually work well if users are telling you what color to make radio buttons or “that needs to be left-adjusted not right.” But it’s all too easy for agile to enable that because you can make the turnaround so rapidly, so it’s another pathology to avoid, that there has to be some kind of art to avoiding. I’m not a dilettante about any particular agile methodology so much as the overall results that you get. I also think I’m a big believer that enabling rapid releases produces a result in tooling and testing that ultimately leads to higher-quality results. In order to be able to release rapidly, with any quality at all, you probably have to embrace automated testing. Yourdon: And regression testing and so on. Fried: Exactly. Unit regression system testing, smoke testing—all these things have to happen as part of the release cycle. As a result, you get to a better state in terms of quality than you would without a significant investment otherwise. Yourdon: So, let me go on to the generational issue. Is there anything else you would like to say about the good things or bad things of the whole generation of workforce, whether we call them digital natives or whatever, that are not just coming into your IT department, but they’re coming into the entire workforce—with their toys and gadgets and their social media? Fried: And with a different set of expectations. And they don’t want work to give them a cell phone, right? Or work to give them a separate smartphone. And the technology is still catching up to that—catching up rapidly but still catching up. It’s not just Google and the consumer landscape. It’s other companies, too. Tablets are redefining people’s expectations of what their personal technology’s going to be. So I think you probably phrased the situation more articulately than I do. I think there’s



Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried
CIO, Google, Inc.

another generational concern that you hint at in your questions here. That is the decreasing number of computer science graduates. Yourdon: Hmm. Fried: It’s a huge problem for us. And I think that academia has struggled with what the answer is, with what to do about it. You know, trying to make computer science more relevant to practice or specializing it, changing the curricula. I’ve never attempted to validate this, but one theory I’ve had for some time is that there was certainly a point where studying computer science was a way of getting access to technologies that were otherwise impossible to get access to. Yourdon: Yeah. Fried: And I think a number of people kind of entered the field—they were curious, they had heard about computers, they entered, they took a class because they were curious about it, and they got hooked, whereas today you don’t need to take a class to get a deep exposure to computers. I met a surprising number of people who were great programmers, great software engineers, but who hadn’t majored in computer science because, why would I? I can just go do that on my own. I don’t really need that. I think that this generational change in access to computing may be also partially responsible for the difficulty in attracting people to the discipline. Yourdon: Hmm. That’s interesting. Fried: And it’s demystified it. And I think the mystique was, for some, part of the attraction. I think I was always interested in it, but one of my first jobs was working in the university computing center at Columbia and it was all about—that was the only place in the world where I knew there was an Imagen laser printer that I could possibly get access to—and getting access to a laser printer, too. Access to technology that was unavailable in any other way was one thing that drove me into, uhh, the discipline. And it’s not needed anymore. But that’s a very, very deep problem that we have because we need a lot more computer programmers than we’re producing. Yourdon: Well, there’s a variation on this: the superficiality and glibness of the current generation with regard to technology. Of course, you have access to whatever you want on the Internet, but it’s something I’ve noticed having written a whole bunch of books: nobody wants to read a book anymore. Nobody wants to spend more than ten minutes focusing intellectually on anything. Nicholas Kristof wrote something saying that in today’s world you could never read War and Peace because who’s got time for a 1200-page book, whether it’s a novel or a computer science book?

Fried: And so I have some hope. I actually read more books. right? So. of people of letters. enough to make us all kind of uncomfortable. He found it on my phone with the little screen here and he read it. Yourdon: Who’s going to read Donald Knuth’s four volumes? Fried: Yeah. but like that gives me hope. the 4A just came out. There had been this period of time when many of us had thought or hoped that the prevalence of e-mail would lead to a second great. right? Books are liquid. I have some hope that I didn’t have before. Fried: Right? They are—cash. over the course of several weeks. generation of letters. I didn’t want others recording in their logs what I was reading. Yourdon: Hmm. and I liked the idea that books represent the cash of ideas. I got an iPad. and they represent the ability for people to transfer and share ideas and thoughts. It’s a book aimed at teens. But of course. And I see it. Interesting. He just read a book called I Am Number Four [by Pittacus Lore (Harper. that’s interesting. I think it’s a trend that technology’s created. 2010)]. interspersed with many other things. you know? But I read a lot more after I got that than I ever had before. because it seemed to violate these cash-like principles that I thought were important to books. the whole book! Yourdon: That’s amazing. and not all small books. I just got the new one. But then. but my son is six and. you know. On the other hand. And he knows how to find other books in the Google Books apps and download the free ones and ask me if 29 . on his own. they are untraceable. not cache. and they have all these properties that cash has and is this great and enabling thing. what happened instead was instant messaging and tweets and so on—more and more sharding of one’s attention. He read it all. Yourdon: Hmm! [laughter] Fried: He just goes and starts reading books on the iPad or Google books on my iPhone—we’ll be in a restaurant or something and he’ll be bored and he’ll read Google books on my phone. not just in me. I was incredibly skeptical of e-books. highly digitally enabled. Yourdon: Hmm. Fried: You know. It definitely sharded his attention. and the convenience—I just read more.CIOs at Work Fried: Yeah. So on a personal level I was very suspicious of e-readers.

My last job I thought was a great job and could have been the last job I ever had. because some of these things are distracting. “Well. but opportunities always presented themselves.” You can just kind of integrate it.30 Chapter 1 | Benjamin Fried CIO. “Ten other people thought that this phrase was really significant. . right? So double-click on a word and you get a definition. it’s a part of the process. so. at some point. You’re reading along in the book and all of a sudden you see this thing saying. Yourdon: Let me ask you just one last question.” I’m not sure that’s a good thing. you won’t have the facing page with the kind of “this is what they mean. I don’t care what they thought. when I interviewed the CIO from Detroit [DTE] Energy last week. Fried: Yeah. and I should talk to him about it. And then they called me here and I thought this was an amazing thing that I wanted to try. and it’s been good for my career. we’ll see. but she had an existence proof that there would be one. you know? Or if you have any plans or dreams or thoughts? Fried: No. Fried: Like for my son. right? Yourdon: [laughter] Fried: You know. and so she had no idea what the next opportunity would be. but it’s obviously. Google. and it’s the obvious kind of final question: where do you go from here. So I don’t know… Yourdon: Well. or he wasn’t able to figure out on his own? Things like that are. are game-changers. And the e-reader can integrate it into the text in new ways that are probably less intrusive. the only CIO gig I’d ever heard of that sounded appealing to me. Yourdon: That part’s good. Yourdon: There’s a collaboration aspect to that that just terrified me when I saw it on my Kindle. and I think he reads more than he would otherwise. I wonder what the Folger Library editions of Shakespeare are going to look like in this digital era. Inc. he’s in first grade—who knows how much of the book he read he was able to figure out on his own. By personality. It’s worked out.” And I thought. no plans or dreams. it’s a—I have a friend who’s responsible for the whole digital books thing at Amazon. I’m someone who tends to spend a lot of time thinking about how to make things better. Get a dictionary. Fried: I’m sure those things will emerge. she said she had never gone looking for things. You know. So I always tend to think that there’s more opportunity than what I’ve been doing. I’ll type in my password so he can download a paid one. right. that’s fair enough.

Yourdon: Well. you know. Yourdon: I can imagine. Well. you’re very much at the crest of the tidal wave. thank you. 31 . you might as well stay on top as long as you can. I really appreciate your time. Google is a unique company at a unique point in its history at a unique place in time. Listen. so. It makes sense. Fried: It’s pretty all-consuming.CIOs at Work I don’t have an aspiration to politics or anything like that. and I’m thrilled to be … here in that place in that time.

Under Scott's leadership. the corporate business groups.. He also held the position of Chief Technology Officer. Information Systems and Services. and the global sales and marketing organization. Scott was the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for The Walt Disney Company. Cadre Systems LLC. including support of the product groups. at General Motors (GM. Scott champions IT as a value-added business for Microsoft and works with all the company's groups to identify opportunities. which drive continuous and breakthrough process improvements across the company. Before joining Microsoft.CHAPTER 2 Tony Scott CIO. and operations of Disney IT systems and infrastructure across the company. he was Vice President of Information Services at Bristol-Myers Squibb. where he was responsible for defining the information technology computing and telecommunications strategy. Sun Microsystems Inc. Previously. structure IT solutions. and standards across all of GM's businesses globally). Microsoft IT is responsible for security. implementation. architecture. and his professional experience has also included assignments at Marriott International Inc.. infrastructure. and business applications for all of Microsoft. and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Scott is also the executive sponsor for Microsoft's Operational Enterprise Risk Management efforts and supports the integration of management principles from the Quality & Business Excellence team. where he led planning. Microsoft Tony Scott joined the Microsoft Corporation in February 2008 as Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer. . messaging. and deliver measurable returns to the business.

Did you start right off in IT or did you start through another path? Tony Scott: I graduated high school in 1970. from the University of Illinois in Champaign to Silicon Valley. They had a rule that they didn’t allow two people that were married to work in the same department. and various others. by this point. because part of the Parks and Recreation core discipline was all around developing leaders and people who could lead activities. I had moved. So my general awareness of technology started to ramp up pretty significantly. So that’s the career I started off in. the result of all this technology is that people are not likely to reduce their work week. I figured out that this was pretty much not going to happen. Texas Instruments.34 Chapter 2 | Tony Scott: CIO. that we were all going to have this abundant amount of time on our hands. That was my conclusion. what happened was after two years. so I changed fields kind of by accident. And I began to work in Silicon Valley—still working for the Parks and Recreation Department. so it meant that one of us had to find another job. It was called Parks and Recreation Administration. Microsoft Ed Yourdon: Let me just ask the basic questions about how you got started in the field after college. Yourdon: Ha-ha. but I began to see and meet people in technology. Yourdon: Well the obvious next question for me is to ask you then is how you got from that kind of start into the computer field and into IT? Scott: Well. Yourdon: Did you have any role models or heroes that you were sort of looking to as you went through this early stage? Scott: I worked in the field and actually did a lot of leadership training. you know. And finally the critical event was that I decided to get married and my wife-to-be also worked in the Parks and Recreation Department. The discipline was called Leisure Studies and it was going to help us figure out how to use all of our spare time. Scott: And that what we would all struggle with was going to be how we were going to use our leisure time. So I ended up taking a . who was actually the first guy who got me to come work for him in that field. and there was a belief at that point that because of advances in technology that somehow the work week was going to be significantly reduced. people who worked for some of the chip companies. they are likely to just take on more work. in the spirit of “what are we going to do with all our free time?” And so in that discipline I had a number of role models. One was a guy named Rick Bunch. If anything. People who work for HP.

And the amount of labor you need is highly dependent on how many people are going to show up to the park on a given day. its retail stores. And as a benchmark I bought a time share service from Computer Sciences Corporation [(CSC)]. and in parallel to developing. Scott: Well. and all the racing games and Atari was one of the big suppliers. much like a McDonald’s for its restaurants. California. They had an Apple II+ computer. It was all electronic pinball machines and arcade games. its rides. You’ll probably remember all this. and it could be programmed in BASIC and Pascal and all kinds of things. Yourdon: Right. in 1976. You need labor to run all these things. I got put into another position. I’ve been there. So I got the CSC terminal and understood how their particular software worked. discovered we were beating the 35 . And within about three or four months. Scott: And also the time of day they are going to show up. The area I was in charge of was Games and Arcades. it turns out that the theme park industry had a couple of pretty big problems to solve in terms of managing its business.CIOs at Work job with Marriott … which was opening a theme park called Marriott’s Great America in Santa Clara. its games and arcades. absolutely. you know Pong. which was to do planning and forecasting for the business. and we began to develop sophisticated computer models with CSC to help us better forecast the labor and attendance. I was doing work at Amdahl at that point. And I discovered a little company called Apple Computer. I thought. We may have been there at the same time. So right around early ’78. as I had gotten a year or two of experience under my belt in this business. And your profitability is highly dependent on whether you correctly forecasted your labor needs on that given day. I wonder if we could write software to do attendance forecasting and help with planning. which was selling labor modeling software to toll roads and telephone companies and other entities who had similar kinds of problems that needed to be able to accurately forecast the amount of labor they were going to need based on external forecasts and projections. writing software actually on the Apple II to do the same thing. hmm. Yourdon: Yes. Yourdon: Oh. One was that these are very labor intensive businesses and a reliance on part-time labor. Scott: I was on the team that opened that park in 1976. and so on.

Scott: That is the long story. Eventually I went to work for Sun Microsystems. we work very closely with our product groups. . and went to law school at Santa Clara University while I was at Sun. blah. Scott: And in that sense. and interesting for me. And so everything just sort of took off from there. I didn’t do this by myself. created a bunch of different databases. To the point where we bought a whole bunch of Apple II computers and a Corvus disk drive and started using the Apples for lots of things. We have any number of internal systems that we run the business on. We have payroll. Yourdon: Sure. forecasting. I wear about the same hat and shoes and everything else and have the same concerns and issues as any other CIO. On the left-hand side.36 Chapter 2 | Tony Scott: CIO. They would write the basic program and I would tweak it. and had Apple II computers for my own kids. Yourdon: Yes. you’re here now obviously at Microsoft. In the middle it is the sort of the same thing any CIO at any large company would do. at the end of your story. finished college at the University of San Francisco in information systems management. modeling. and labor scheduling kinds of problems that were real business problems that I was confronted with. and so in our case that includes sales and marketing systems. Um. I taught myself to program. I divide it into three big buckets. Microsoft pants off of the CSC program on a pretty regular basis in terms of doing a better job and so on. all the way through. What makes this job different are two other pieces. blah. and put in some of the math models and all that sort of stuff. Like I said. financial systems—we have probably the same collection of systems and software that any other CIO at any other company would have. What duties and activities that the job entails—is there some way you can summarize what your key responsibilities are as CIO at Microsoft? Scott: Sure. But anyhow. Well. and Disney and then here. and I was better at sort of figuring out the math behind some of the stuff. but it’s a fascinating one. But it all started with the need to solve some attendance. and Bristol Myers. and it starts with defining what the product is going to be in the first place. What you do as a CIO at Microsoft. They were better at programming. blah. and General Motors. finished my degree. you know. you know. I was in the same area at about the same time. I had some people from the IT department. Then I worked for Pricewaterhouse. and we just got hooked.

On the right-hand side. our internal metrics of success. Do you think that what you described represents kind of a technology shift that everybody assumes that they will be using Microsoft 37 . how do you integrate them together. it would have been IBM’s role to do that sort of thing. and particularly one we take seriously. things like that. It even has its own name: we call it “dogfooding. when? You know. and we ask ourselves every day: if not us. that kind of thing. but to my organization—we aspire to be the world-class benchmark for IT. Virtually every customer who comes to visit.” Yourdon: Oh. how we’re organized. and we get a lot of very positive feedback from customers in terms of the value they get out of that dialogue. to do an executive briefing.CIOs at Work Once we are into the development process. Scott: And so we are the number one filer of bug-fix requests and enhancement requests and so on. what lessons have you learned with whatever the latest is?” Clearly that is one of the focuses of the dialogue with customers. code signing technology. where else could any IT organization aspire to be that? And if not now. all kinds of things to help build the product and quality check and that kind of stuff all sits in IT at Microsoft. We aspire to be a trusted advisor on how to do IT and the question I proposed not only to myself. more than all the rest of Microsoft customers combined because of that important role. So that kind of on the left side of the main role … is pretty classical. we practice it every day. But we are also one of the groups that signs off and says that the product is ready to ship. our IT lifecycle management process. That phrase has been around for a long time. Yourdon: You know 30 years ago. We seek that role. So code source repositories. we start deploying it internally at Microsoft in small quantities initially—and then as the product matures and gets closer and closer to its release date. we have typically broadly deployed it inside Microsoft. but they are also very interested in how we do governance. yeah. I also spend—and my teams spend—a fair amount of time with our customers. And then we also play an important role which is: once a product is in its early stages of development and is complete enough to start deployment. It really is: “how do you use the products for Microsoft. so it is a little bit of an usual role for an IT organization. or whatever. wants to know how Microsoft does IT. IT supports a lot of the product tooling the product team uses to make the product. who would it be? And if not here.

Yourdon: I’ve obviously been following many of the things that Microsoft has been doing in the marketplace. Maybe one last thing. Microsoft products and the distributed kinds of computing tools rather than main frames today? Scott: I think that’s one of the elements of it. you can either embrace it. like cloud computing and so on. well that is very interesting. or exploit it—those are the four different ways we . Yourdon: That is a good point. and manageability. it is really collaboration. manage it. So I think that’s one element of it. and I would imagine you can just give me a general answer on a lot of these topical issues. One of the things I am quite interested in myself is the generational issue. Yourdon: Ok. cloud computing group. and how they think about the business case for the cloud and so on. For example. Do those tend to come from your group or are they influenced by your group? Scott: Well. Certainly Microsoft has a breadth of products that probably no other tech company has today. yes. we have played a key role in helping shape the product from an architecture perspective and from the perspective of. “here is what CIOs are going to look for in terms of capability. How is the up and coming generation of kids coming out of college viewing IT and technology. Just like the dogfooding and things I was describing earlier. And depending on where you fall in that matrix. So we do a lot of work with customers in terms of our own models around that. Scott: And it is a leader in several of the areas in terms of where people want to go—whether it is cloud or whether it is mobile or any of those kinds of things. and I think that’s a part of it as well. How do you think about that? And should you think about that as a CIO? Scott: We have a really good model that we use that essentially evaluates anything like that along two different vectors. Yourdon: One of the big topics obviously is social computing.38 Chapter 2 | Tony Scott: CIO. One is value and one is risk. you’ve got or Microsoft has got white papers or position papers.” We have been one of the major contributors to that whole discussion for sure. as opposed to my generation or yours? Scott: We do think that relevance to Gen whatever-it-is—the millennials. And our sweet spot is certainly central to where most IT organizations are. or whatever you want to call them today—is something that is certainly relevant. ignore it. We’re in the game in a whole bunch of different spaces that not many other companies are.

I actually worked for Kevin Turner. and I’ve been impressed with the investment and the subsequent realization of the vision that Steve laid out a couple of years ago. I’m sure. Scott: Well. Was there anything else unusual about the interview that got you into Microsoft? Scott: Well. who was our Chief Operating Officer at Microsoft. which is fine. it was pretty impressive. Yourdon: I’ve got a bunch of questions that I can’t avoid asking because I’m sure everyone will want to know—and that is the question of whether Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer hired you or promoted you into your position. it’s pretty much an interview and then a surprise as to who the execs are and all that stuff. how do you see the future? I still have the little piece of paper that Steve sketched out where the company was going from a cloud perspective and phone and all that sort of stuff—so I have to say. Yourdon: Well. whether it was somebody who was dreaming one day of being the CIO of Microsoft or possibly the CIO of any other organization. And it is leadership like that that we think is a role we can play in terms of helping develop useful models and frameworks for the industry. and I’d actually worked with Bill on a number of different things even before coming to Microsoft—so it’s probably the only job where I’ve gone into the job knowing the senior executives and the company reasonably well before coming to take the job. or whether you have any other tidbits. But what we have given them is a model to say here is how you can think about this stuff. Well.CIOs at Work think about it in that space and each of those strategies would have a certain set of characteristics and an external company might choose to put a specific technology in a different place in the matrix. and so on. Yourdon: Very impressive. you know. being interviewed by the COO is a good enough big name for anyone. that leads to a related question. when I interviewed with Steve three years ago. If you had one piece of advice that you could give to aspiring CIOs. what would that one piece of advice be? 39 . the obvious question is. but Steve was a part of the interview process. which bucket you will put things in. All the other times. and you can make your own judgment call based on your company profile and your regulatory environment. And I was impressed at the time with the plans. about them that you want to talk about.

And I guess you could argue that’s one aspect of integrity. her team won’t let any other member of the team fail if they get into trouble or get overloaded. These are big. physical organizations that we’re managing. You have to have somebody who enjoys that role and who sees as a core part of their being developing other leaders in the organization. And probably the third one that I look for is just basic integrity in terms of not only telling the truth. and one thing I’ve heard in common from almost all of them is the importance of the team that they’ve assembled to just help them get through the day. and being technology-literate and making the right choices is fundamental to what we do. They realize that they all have to succeed. if not in life. I heard about all the things that are broken and all of the things that are going well. I’m curious as to what kind of key qualities you look for in someone who’s going to become a member of your team that you work with on almost a day-to-day basis. so to speak. Scott: Sure. straightforward sort of way. so that integrity factor is critical in all of our leadership roles. Scott: Well. especially if you’re working in a technology company like Microsoft. Every time as I’ve gone into the role. you need a lot of leadership capability. And these are big architectural decisions that we end up making. that’s certainly interesting advice. nothing is ever as good as it seems to be or as bad as it seems to be. There’s a whole set of things that we do every day where technology does make a difference. Yourdon: I heard a variation on that yesterday from a CIO whom I interviewed who said one of her key things is that everyone on her team. transparent. So leadership is probably the number one thing that I look for. complex. then certainly in leadership roles people play.40 Chapter 2 | Tony Scott: CIO. Another related thing— and these are little segués in a sense—I’ve now talked to maybe a half a dozen CIOs. One is just pure leadership capability. Yourdon: Well. but representing the truth and dealing with people and situations in a very honest. and there’s usually a little exaggeration on both sides. I think it’s also part of leadership. Two. I think there’s three in particular that I look for. Microsoft Scott: Well. I think you need to be technically astute and competent. in terms of how bad it is or how good it is. People that can uphold our values and represent them well. has each other’s back. and to do that well. it’s probably the lesson I’ve learned over and over and over again—which is. challenging. and so rather than the competitive backstabbing that you might allow or even be expecting in some situations. and so that skill is pretty important. .

They think they know how to use IT.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Yeah. but also enabling people in the world to reach their potential. I hadn’t thought of that. what we’ve seen over and over and over again is. good point. 41 . It means a broader purpose. It’s about Microsoft winning. but literally peers in other business units—or. it’s pretty incredible. I think what you’ll see when all the dust settles. and basically. I’m sure you and every CIO I’ve spoken to ends up having to interact with a lot of very strong-willed peers who may not be in your empire itself. to paraphrase our mission—and that’s a fairly lofty thing for us to shoot for. product groups. they probably think they know how to do your job better than you do. not even after. but we all carry that weight. Scott: Sure. . Yourdon: That’s very interesting. Yourdon: Ahh. at Microsoft in particular. so we have to shoot for a pretty high goal. so to speak. because they don’t report to you. You know. and you can’t boss them around. any high-technology company these days is going to need to and want to step in to help out with whatever rebuilding of whatever infrastructure they’re involved with given a natural or political disaster. Scott: Part of what I look for there is an element of that. If you turn on the news and see that all hell’s breaking loose in some part of the world you never cared about. I think. but in the midst of—Katrina. and it’s not even about our team winning . if we all don’t do our jobs well. our Microsoft team is in there as quickly as possible helping rebuild and reestablish the necessary infrastructure for a country or a region to function. and that usually means more than just individuals winning. in your case. where we all have to work closely together to succeed. So. Well. exactly. at the earliest possible opportunity. Microsoft always responds and is there to help rebuild. So whether it’s an oil crisis or tsunami or floods or snowfall or earthquakes. I guess that’s something that every CIO has to be prepared for. Are you guys helping out in Egypt at this point? Maybe that’s a little off target. Okay. another very interesting question. it may still have a huge impact on what you have to do tomorrow morning. Yourdon: You know. but I now recall seeing a similar thing from the CIO of FedEx and the CIO of Delta Airlines about what they had to do immediately after—well. Scott: Yeah. boy. but. especially at Microsoft. . good point. we’re hindering the world from reaching its full potential in a certain way. They not only know how to do their job. that’s amazing watching. I’m sure you and everybody else are just glued to the television to see what’s going to happen there.

one thing that’s different about your peers and which you would also find in other computer companies or high-tech companies. Yourdon: Sure. They’re not as enamored by the new feature or the new capability. and so if you have somebody who’s strong-willed or has a strong opinion. Yourdon: Of course. They’re in traditional business functions like finance or HR or whatever it happens to be. . It’s not just that they’re stock traders or automobile designers. Scott: Well. first of all. I use a principle I learned many. many years ago when I was a playground leader. It’s usually about somebody else’s product. put them to work and get them engaged and make sure they’re a part of the solution. kind of get them involved with you. so part of our challenge as we’re developing applications or creating user experiences is to satisfy both the technical and the nontechnical in terms of what we do and how we do it and the services that we offer. but which I don’t see in some of the other places. They usually think that their product is great and everybody else’s has got a problem— but again. Microsoft How do you go about influencing these people and get them to do what you think is right and to avoid doing what you think is wrong? Scott: Well. you know. are presumably all extremely proficient with technology. Obviously. though. And I was taught this by another playground leader. yeah. is that your peers in the product groups or business groups. and one of the two doesn’t happen. Scott: But second of all. We actually have a significant number of people who are not technology-literate. make him a solution rather than a part of the problem. it turns out that with our product group. they might be right and you have to consider that possibility. yeah. And the technique that I was taught was put him to work. So that’s a very good strategy to deal with. If you’re leading kids’ activities on the playground. they can be as opinionated as anybody. maybe as somebody with a more technical background. Either they get engaged and contribute. many. so that you’re in even less of a position to boss them around and tell them that you’re the only person who knows the complexity of what you’re dealing with. And they just want something that works for them. the same strategy: put them to work. all of these people know a hell of a lot about IT. And so what I’ve found is that one of two things happen.42 Chapter 2 | Tony Scott: CIO. or they shut up very quickly and run the other way. And I’ve followed that principle throughout my career. That’s part of the fun at Microsoft. there’s always some kid hanging on the sideline. Maybe he’s a bully or maybe he just wants to tease or be disruptive or whatever.

there’s an aspect to this that I had expected to hear more about and that is the situation where these peers and their respective business units are able to get their hands on technology by themselves because it’s so cheap and so pervasive. Is that kind of a problem area that you run into a lot? Scott: No.” And so there are some things where’s there no business value and a high business risk either in the form of viruses or some sort of threat. the threat or the risk associated with that application. a new smartphone into the office without your knowing it. “Not only are we going to embrace it. a new gadget. But we use that framework really to evaluate things and then put in place either the appropriate measures or not. really. So I guess maybe I was over-worried about that one. and on the other part of the matrix. like a lot of the social network capabilities. they can just download an app for their Android or iPhone or whatever. Or we should ban it. What we have is a model that we use to figure out how we think about any given application and it basically is a matrix that results from on one side. and they want to connect to your infrastructure. and start using technology that you’re not even aware is in the office. And the result is four quadrants that either allows you to say. so to speak. where we say. but sooner or later—and it’s usually sooner these days—they want to access your data. we don’t think of it as a problem. that we just block. “We have to contain this. Yourdon: Well. We should allow it and not mess with it at all—it just exists. But there are many others. the better ones. We have to embrace it or we should embrace it. the business benefit from that application. without running up against your protection or evaluation matrix that you’ve put in place. The PC version of that 25 years ago was just going down to Radio Shack to buy something. And that’s something you’ve got control over and you’re very concerned in terms of risk—obviously security and privacy. until it gets big enough to be noticed. that certainly makes sense. IT threat or whatever. if any. But why don’t I move on then to the next obvious question: what are the main problems and concerns and issues that you worry about that keep you 43 3 . but we are going to fully utilize it for the business benefits that it can bring. and so forth—so they can’t get very far. And these days. The aspect of this that I’ve heard from most of the other CIOs that makes eminently good sense is that somebody might bring a new toy. as the case may be.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Now.” So everything falls in the matrix somewhere and every company can make its own judgment on any given thing about which part of the matrix it falls in. and effectively block it.

but I think we have to be prepared for some of these bigger failures to occur. Yourdon: Right. Yourdon: Oh. Where the new opportunity is in the architecture that is built up from all of the pieces. And so. So. to build something. while the components are all of high quality. in some respects for some of these architectural failures to not only happen. on a daily basis we don’t end up having much issue in that particular space. Microsoft awake at night? I assume security is at the top of the list. I think. but they will occur. Microsoft is one of the most attacked companies on the planet in terms of every hacker trying to earn his merit badge seeing if he can get in. and I think of threats that we may . Or defects show up in a particular product. it’s hard to actually see these architectural flaws.44 Chapter 2 | Tony Scott: CIO. maybe a few years ago. And I don’t say that in a way that should be interpreted as we shouldn’t use the Internet or it’s dangerous. The quality of everything we buy and use has just gotten better and better and better over the years as the broader quality movement has taken hold. And you see it across the landscape. but we’re still having these events. The Internet is a Petri dish. it’s not very common anymore that you see product failure in the same way that we used to see it. I mean. a solution for an end user that. the “flash crash” last year? Scott: We keep having these long. So it’s still possible. I suppose one of the things I think about a lot is what I’ll call “macroarchitectural threats.” and let me explain what that is. and we will recover from them relatively quickly. the quality of the components that we build things out of has just gone up and up and up. Scott: Where in some cases accidents happen because of some unanticipated event that exploits an architectural flaw that was latent in the system. We’ve seen examples of this in the nation’s electric grid. but are there any others as well? Scott: It is. deep depressions that once were the case. Cars are better. the way they’re put together may be vulnerable or may have some architectural flaw in the way it’s created. because most manufacturers—whether it’s Microsoft or hardware people or whatever—have gotten pretty sophisticated at building a quality product or component. but also the magnitude of them could be enormous at some point as we build up solutions and capabilities out of all the components that exist. Over the years. while you always worry about that every single day. so out of necessity we had to try to be at least very good at the security thing. And because of the complexity of many of these things today. like the stock market crash. for example.

They will happen. Yourdon: Because if nothing else. So we live with the product groups through the entire life cycle. trying to figure out whose fault it is when some huge system doesn’t work. indeed. and. And it often has to do with these architectural problems between vendors. including upgrades and subsequent patches that may occur. Yourdon: I can certainly tell you that the Defense Department and various other government agencies spend a lot of time worrying about that. because I think that’s probably something that every CIO is either already worrying about or really ought to be. and we follow that all the way through the whole life cycle. how it should work. Okay. You had told me about how your IT department works with several of the product groups when a new product is being developed. So. or do you wait for them to come to you to start talking about new stuff that they’ve started doing? Scott: No. and we have a very active program that measures the health of that product relationship. the Microsoft product is fine. These were prompted by some of the things you said in our first conversation. we’re very proactive.CIOs at Work face in the technology space in much the same way. simply because there are people who are trying to deliberately exploit these things as opposed to accidental architectural defects. if anything. we’re in the early stages of the design—putting our two cents in in terms of what features it needs. actually. what capabilities it needs. So they’re the ones who are going to get the blame if it does all come crashing down on their heads. I don’t think that problem is going to go away in the short term. and I would assume that might even start with the kind of early exploratory prototyping? 45 . we will recover reasonably quickly. And I’m curious to know whether your IT group takes a proactive role in terms of interactions with other departments. but they might be rather prolific in terms of their impact. it may get worse. Interestingly. Yourdon: And. but there’s something about the architectural interface that can either be exploited or has some limitation that nobody ever thought about. Scott: I totally agree. all those kinds of things. one of the ways that I earn a living is working as an expert witness for lawyers. so as each product cycle begins. let me just ask a couple final questions. So that’s a good one to bring up. and the XYZ product is fine. all these CIOs are usually the final stage of approval and endorsing some of these huge architectural complexes involving vendor software.

absolutely. and good luck with everything else. Well. Yourdon: Well. Thank you. Okay.46 Chapter 2 | Tony Scott: CIO. I could go on all afternoon. Yourdon: Well. I think that’s a good thing for people to know about. that these products don’t just sort of spring out of the Microsoft firewall without a lot of internal stuff going on with you guys. but I’m sure you’ve got a long list of things to do. I really appreciate it again. so I should wrap things up. . Scott: All right. thank you. people waiting outside your door at this point. Microsoft Scott: Oh yeah.

and the Dallas Children’s Medical . American Airlines. church leadership. one of the United States’ leading energy transmission and distribution companies.CHAPTER 3 Monte Ford Senior Vice President and CIO. an international think tank restricted to CIOs of the world’s largest corporations. the Baylor-Grapevine Board of Trustees. Inc. He oversees all aspects of the company’s information technology strategy and operations. He is also a member of The Research Board. Ford’s leadership has been critical in restoring American to the forefront of technological innovation—one key element to the long-term success of one of the world’s largest airlines./AMR Corporation Monte Ford is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at American Airlines and its parent company. Prior to joining American Airlines. AMR Corp. He is active in community programs. Widely regarded as a leader in the field of information technology. and the CIO Strategy Exchange (CIOSE). a selective multi-sponsor program for chief information officers from “forward-looking” companies. Mr. Ford held senior management positions at The Associates First Capital Corporation and the Bank of Boston. Ford has served on the boards of two public corporations and is currently on the board of directors at Oncor. Ford joined American Airlines at a time when the airline needed to regain its technological prowess.

okay.48 Chapter 3 | Monte Ford: Senior Vice President and CIO. By contrast. like Digital Equipment and IBM. and he asked me to come work for them. Yourdon: Oh? That’s unique amongst the people I’ve spoken to so far. I started with DEC1 also. I was about to take a different job at Digital. Ed Yourdon: One of the questions that I’ve asked everybody at the very beginning. Ford: Which I did. . and took an executive position with the customer organization. I worked at the old [Maynard. Ford has a long history of community involvement in both Dallas and Boston. By the way. Center Development Board. Yourdon: Oh. … is basically [about] how you got to where you are now. I did have marketing and technical jobs when I was at DEC as well. Inc. software. Ford: I thought that was a fantastic company. by the way. a more senior job at Digital. working for supplier companies. I was always in the techie department. Yourdon: Ahh. which I did [become]. originally on 1 Digital Equipment Corporation. a vendor of computer systems. I went to work for them and became a customer of Digital Equipment and IBM and other companies at the time and then continued on along the technology track from there. and peripherals that merged with Hewlett Packard in 2002./AMR Corp. but I ended up being hired by my customer in Boston at DEC. particularly because I know there are lots of young IT professionals who dream and hope that someday they’re going to end up in your position. And then I moved from there to being CIO at American. Massachusetts] mill. American Airlines. and I went to tell my customer. So I came into this side of the industry reporting to a COO that also was a CIO and moved from there to take a job in Texas …with the intent of being the CIO at that company. Is this your first CIO position? Or have you kind of come up through the ranks of technology to end up where you are now? Monte Ford: I started on the vendor side or the supplier side of the business.

inside the professional range and out. but I have had them along the way. Ford: I have had mentors and role models along the way. Yourdon: [laughter] 2 The PDP-5 was DEC’s first popular minicomputer. the question that I was about to ask was whether you had any important mentors or role models along the way. In both sales and marketing and in technology. Yourdon: Anyway. They change—I’ve been through several technologies that are supposed to save the planet. It was the predecessor of the PDP10 and DECsystem 10 computers. [laughter] That’s for sure. So my focus. and my focus over the years has always been on the people. Its design was based on a 36-bit word of memory. I’ve had the opportunity to have role models that counsel me on how to function within the technology world. as well as people that counsel me on what to do about technology. At least I try to make sure that every relationship I have is mutually beneficial. and the role models that I’ve had. introduced in 1965 and aimed at the scientific/engineering marketplace. And I know this book is about technology. . The technology business.CIOs at Work 49 the PDP-52 and then on the PDP-63. and a lot less so on the technology. it was the predecessor of the far more popular (and more miniaturized) PDP-8 minicomputer. I think if you get the people part of it right. But it was quite a place to work. introduced in 1964. but as an African-American in this industry. maybe more about people than it is about technology. though. this business. I have had mentors and role models and people—I continue to have mentors and role models and people that provide me the opportunity to grow and develop in what is always a mutual relationship. and it thus competed fairly directly with IBM’s 7090/7094 computers. in the early days. to me. Ford: Sure was. Technologies come and go. is as much about people as it is about technology. that is applied to solving business problems and business needs based on circumstance. 3 The PDP-6 was DEC’s first large-scale computer. the technology part will come. if you will. Technology is really the culmination of a set of common-sense functionality.

American Airlines. and often technologies do change things. I had to put that question on the list is that I knew. but there’s always another one coming. by the way. . I think he just got off the board of Microsoft. Ford: And make programming incredible and make the world incredibly easy. Inc. I think the most important role model for me … from a technology standpoint—and I think this will stand the test of time—is a guy named Jim Cash. for example. So my focus around technology is really on people. did you find the need for any additional education? Did you go back to get an MBA or anything of that sort? Ford: You know. which I know that you have both lived through and written about over the years. he’s on the board at GE. But I think that’s a comment I’ve heard fairly consistently from everybody in terms of their mentors and role models. I chose not to. One last question in this “getting started” area: once you started moving along this career path. Walmart. Yourdon: Now where have I heard that name before? Ford: Well. and I’ve gotten a variety of interesting answers. And you know. at least not when I was in college. every so often. He was a professor at Harvard in the business school. And one of the reasons. The thing that allows you to make it through all those changes and iterations and capability and lack thereof around technology has to be the people you work with and grow and cultivate and manage and develop. he was dean of the business school at Harvard. you hear another technology’s going to change everything./AMR Corp. And I did not. He’s a technologist. he’s on the board—well. that’s something they certainly don’t teach you in college. Yourdon: Yeah.50 Chapter 3 | Monte Ford: Senior Vice President and CIO. I was going to be interviewing the CIO of Microsoft. He ran the Harvard Business Review. I didn’t have a chance to learn it for several years after college either. he’s written books. He ran their executive MBA program. and I had to ask him whether Bill Gates was a major role model for him and so on. I’ve had several opportunities to get an MBA and including sponsorship to get a full MBA and multiple opportunities for executive MBA. You know.

He’s just an incredibly bright. well organized. which is originally Radio Shack. highly qualified things. certainly. he’s on the board of Chubb. If you look at all the things logistical and otherwise that need to go in to get a plane off the ground. and we lose. He’s done a number of very strong. We make the world smaller. whether it’s transporting cargo or themselves or somebody else or something else. Yourdon: [laughter] Ford: So we transport 110 million bags or so a year. We transport things on airplanes. it’s the heart of your day-to-day life in a sense—and that is.CIOs at Work 51 he’s been on the board of Knight Ridder. Yourdon: Ahh. Really. I should say. Never mind luggage and all the rest of those things. We’re in the information business. Ford: Early indicator of real-time and just-in-time inventory management and did consulting around those things. You know. … And that’s great. around … 84 to 87 percent of the time. We do transport things on airplanes. which is a pretty incredible number actually across the industry. he’s on the board of Tandy. our routine day is transporting 33. Yourdon: Very interesting. but the thing that people need most. it’s a minor miracle. less than a couple thousand out of 110 million. in 2011? Ford: I think that the business that we’re in is a technology business. they want information. And the . Early indicator of what outsourcing would be to India. Early indicator of a lot of things that technology would evolve to. very well socialized person. And it happens on time the vast majority of the time. Early indicator of just a number of things—social networking. literally lose. how you see technology and IT contributing to the success of an organization like American? I think everybody knows the story from the early days of just what an enormous impact [American Airline’s reservation system] Sabre has had business-wise and technology-wise.000 people someplace on an airplane that they weren’t at earlier in the day before getting on our plane. but what’s the story today.

Inc. everything is great. a lot was still manual and otherwise. That’s another issue. Yourdon: You know. and information technology. We’re measured by what happens when things are not routine. It’s the core of that sensor. because even with Sabre. if it’s your bag. They want to know what’s going to happen. what are my options? All of these are built around and driven by technology.52 Chapter 3 | Monte Ford: Senior Vice President and CIO. along the lines of what you were saying. Technology is at the center of everything we do. arrive late. it’s late. at the airport and routine flight. information specifically. like it did a couple of weeks ago. Ford: So when you think about that. But less than three tenths of 1 percent is a big number. Yourdon: That’s right. And what I see as a traveler. maybe one of the things that has changed over the last 30 or 40 years is the opportunity that you . American Airlines. Yourdon: Right. you just cannot do that. is at the heart of that sensor. So we play a pretty significant role.or three-day period? How do you recover? People want information about their flight. Ford: When there’s the most incredible weather in recent recordable history in the Northeast and in Chicago. what do I do.” or “Your flight’s been delayed”—I got that on the way to the airport a couple of weeks ago—“and here are your options. the CIO of Delta. I’m getting things on my iPhone saying. When there’s a dust storm that shuts down Dallas. who said one of the things they now try to do is stay in touch with their customers almost 24 hours a day. and with today’s volume and today’s technology. tiny minority of those bags. less than three tenths of 1 percent./AMR Corp. It feels different.” So I certainly agree with you that generically. 110 million times—now. and probably even more so than we did back in the Sabre days. and 80 percent of those come in on the next flight. everything is fine. What happens when you’ve got thousands of planes and hundreds of thousands of people who are impacted? And when it happens over a two. So on a routine day when everything is fine. I heard a variation on this in a speech by Theresa Wise. “You can now check in on this flight.

Ford: You know. I used to sit around every morning and wait for the newspaper kid to come. in a world of social media. yeah. you don’t want the hierarchy. The world has gone from being very vertical to very horizontal. Yourdon: Right. Yourdon: That certainly is true. because I’m a newspaper guy. and they’re not going to wait for the paper guy. Ford: They read it online. Now I get the newspaper on Sunday. But they won’t physically read—you know. Yourdon: [laughter] Ford: And hope that he doesn’t break a window or bang the front door with it. in a world of social networking. Absolutely. My kids won’t read a newspaper. Ed. Ford: And in a horizontal world. social technology—we don’t get to control everything. the New York Times. Ford: So what we’re trying to do. But the world has been voting to get information instantaneously. is not only for customers and employees. And we don’t get to dictate that. it’s kind of sad to me actually. we want to be able to meet people wherever they want to be met. paper boy or the paper . and I would sit there and wait patiently for the newspaper to tell me what my world was and what was going on in it. And—do you have American’s iPhone app? Yourdon: I do. which we don’t get to dictate. our philosophy. just because I like laying down on the couch and opening up the newspaper and having paper everywhere and reading it. And you’ll see some other examples of this coming up. In your business. and I would hope that he wouldn’t throw it— when I was living in Boston—hope he wouldn’t throw it in the snow. our goal. with all of the things we’re doing with iPhone and Android and other platforms that we’re working on. anytime to a degree that just wasn’t possible back then.CIOs at Work 53 have with technology to provide this information everywhere and anywhere. but we want to meet the customers and employees where they want to be met. I mean. But they want the information when they want it and where they want it.

people go to each other really very quickly to get information. It wasn’t breaking news from CNN. We got a new plane coming in. as soon as they put that information out. it was on Twitter. Yourdon: Yeah. it’s broadcast across the Internet. I don’t remember the time. Who was tweeting about it first. I was standing at a gate and the flight was delayed. So we’re going to move down three gates or two gates. And I knew what was going on with the flight because I called the Operations Center to find out. The Operations Center told me. “Okay. So the hierarchy of waiting for the newspaper or the hierarchy of waiting for American to tell me what’s going on in my world isn’t going to happen. none of that is really important. or wherever the new one is. in a horizontal world. So we supply all kinds of information through the Internet. Ford: So I’m sitting there. seeing what was going on. we’re going to change gates. And so. All of a sudden. Our customers aggregate that data faster. so they know and can understand what’s going on. that US [Airways] flight. Ford: On Twitter! You know. It was about a mile away from where I’m sitting right now. Out on the Hudson River. and the first pictures came from some guy with a smartphone. we’re just making a decision. That was an amazing thing to watch—on Twitter./AMR Corp. we started sending information out over the Internet about flights and this and that to other service providers and other information providers and the like. I was at the airport walking around. as fast as we can supply it. And the information flows horizontally at a rate that we can’t control and manage. Hold on a second. Before we had the capability that we have now. girl.54 Chapter 3 | Monte Ford: Senior Vice President and CIO. So nobody knows their names.” Well. And we’ll be getting that information out shortly. So. and the way the news media found out about it was on Twitter. I see a bunch of people looking at smartphones and handheld devices. Inc. Yourdon: Right. And before we started doing this ourselves. It was breaking news from Twitter reported on CNN. I mean. a plane set down in the Hudson. about 20 percent of . three years ago or so. That one’s broken. Okay. American Airlines.

I said. and what their GPS position is—so if I know that you left Dallas a couple of days ago. we’re the best aggregator of data of anybody. I know we have all these things coming. just as the gate agent is announcing. 25 percent.CIOs at Work 55 them. Ford: Now you can take a picture of the place where you parked. it ought to just pop up the z . pick up their bag and walk down two gates. it pushes flight-status notification. “We’ll have more information for you shortly. and the application then realizes you’re in Dallas. customers are willing to share information. and it’s embedded into the app. Ford: And now. It is a functional experience that takes advantage of the device. And at that moment. the phone. And you can imagine that it’s not too far-fetched to think that. So at DFW [airport] here in Dallas. Just hold on. And the responses to it—in our app. Yourdon: That’s fantastic. we’ve embedded technology and information into the functional features of the device. well. the concept of presence. one of the most difficult things for people is parking someplace and coming into another terminal [thinking] “Where did I park my car?” Yourdon: Right. It’s embedded in the app. and the application knows that you’re coming back. We see the smartphone implementations and other things. for instance. what their location is.” Those people already had the information. “You know. They know nobody has any privacy anymore—about when they’re on. Ford: It pushes—for an Android. of the location number where you parked. since we know where you are—I mean. The irony was we sent it. at least at the same time that we get it out to customers. but I am not going to put our employees in this position. And you pull up your flight and the information comes up on the phone with a picture of where you parked. Yourdon: Interesting. And you’ll see this continue through GPS. taking advantage of the features of the phone.” And we emphasized getting real-time information out to people as quickly as physically possible. So it’s not a website experience.

American Airlines. or we’ve only got half the equation. So our employees work the same way—our employees work the same way our customers do.56 Chapter 3 | Monte Ford: Senior Vice President and CIO. They will by definition be of more use to the customer./AMR Corp. And if it makes it sound like I’m doing a little bit of bragging. And not just customers. but I’m willing to test this. The point is. right. who live in a very horizontal world themselves when they’re outside of work. with this technology that doesn’t allow them to work horizontally the way they work everywhere else. Well. as you know. social technology aspects of what they do. and the social networking aspects. will get to work one day and all of a sudden have to be vertical. So we have—CRM. Ford: Employee-relationship management—our employees live the same way our customers do. we have something called ERM. Have to be in this hierarchical structure. So we have to be as focused on the employee. which is employee-relationship management. We focus on the information our employees get. Yourdon: Right. Yourdon: Yeah. but the people that implement it. but that’s not the point. à la my airport day experience I just told you about. We have a superior mindset than most companies like ours about what the function of technology is and the capability is and how to embed that into the thinking of the people that implement it. as we do for the customer. Ford: And CRM is customer-relationship management. I guess that I am. picture of your car and say. And those are the type of things where I think we have the right mindset. technology in our . And it’s unrealistic to think that our employees. And most people don’t think of things that way. Ford: And those are things that the public is just not going to stand to wait for. “Remember. which focuses on the same concepts. social media. so customers and employees. Inc. I’m biased. right? Yourdon: Aha. You parked at B23” or whatever it is. It doesn’t make sense.

People will almost let them pay us to do the work. Is IT in your organization expected to be the originator or creator or the source of new ideas? Or does it come from all over the place? Ford: Yes. In a horizontal world. a lot of this involves giving customers and employees the opportunity to do things that they basically could not do before. the person that is the president of the Advantage program. You’ll pay the $12. how to run a project. You can fly on the [same] flight. Yourdon: Very interesting. I can do it myself. And so we take . if you will. get your ticket. You’ve got all the information. whatever. nobody’s going to stand around and wait for the hierarchy to wait their turn in line. You can fly on a flight that costs $10. and you go to the airport. Ford: They’re only as good as their ability to implement the nextbest technology solution within their business unit. You’ve got all the things you need yourself. Yourdon: Right. give them a total frontal lobotomy. they’re in capacity planning. our frequent-flier program… You take the best employees in the company—some of them. Tell them. the IT aspect—because their job is information. I want it all.” “No. anyway—and we run them through the IT organization when we can. I take them here.CIOs at Work 57 environment is the leading-edge indicator of what the capabilities of the environment and the workplace are. Yourdon: Just because you feel you’re in more control. Ford: More control. and then retrain them from scratch about everything from how to start a project. it will cost you $12. So here’s the deal. “Here. stand in line. how to manage a project. I’m going to give you information. we call it the “art of the possible. but you do the work yourself and go through a self-service machine.” Nobody’s going to wait for the newspaper boy.” But it’s a threepronged approach. okay. as part of sort of corporate property. Now. Part of what we do at American is we take some of the best businesspeople … throughout the organization—they’re in revenue management.

not the end state. Yourdon: How much of that is a function of the generation? You know. budget—I don’t understand that budget stuff. horizontal stuff. That drives a set of requirements and a set of things that set the future of the next generation of things that we have to provide that is head and shoulders above where we are today. But in some places it is still acceptable for somebody not to have a thorough background and training and understanding of technology. because IT is still evolving. what things like mobility and the concept of mobility mean.” Nobody’s accepting of that. and then we push them back out into the business. So social networking. We take them here. I’ll leave that up to the financial guys. American Airlines. So. So when we bring people into the organization. That makes it more challenging though. financials. they expect instant messaging and social media and socialized technology and this horizontal world. That philosophy works beautifully if you really believe that the world revolves around IT. It’s pushing IT to places it’s never been pushed before. So we can’t develop . for instance—what’s the best way to articulate this? The places where we have to be are ahead of where we are today. And so our job is to figure out how things like mobility. them here. Because your people can be great managers. you still see older managers who won’t read their own e-mail. “Okay. is part of the continuum./AMR Corp. to another level. great thinkers and this and that. Inc.” It’s perfectly acceptable in some places to walk into a room and say that. we’re going to talk about everything about the business and every aspect in the business. we don’t park them. It doesn’t solve it. social media. except that IT stuff—I’m going to throw that over the wall to the programmers. So. “Uhh. the. but it’s much less common. but if they walk into the room and say. I don’t understand that IT stuff. numbers. isn’t it. they go through regular jobs in the IT organization like a career IT person. bring young people into the organization. but unacceptable to say. the people driving—I’m talking about young people—are driving things to another place. with the younger generation? Ford: It is with the younger generation.58 Chapter 3 | Monte Ford: Senior Vice President and CIO. The younger generation is pushing IT in a very horizontal way.

So while they are driving some of the things we do on an implementation basis today that we live with. Ford: I’d be interested in any comments you might want to add here. “Okay. because they’re not going to sit still for six months of requirements that they’ll see a year and a half later when the project’s done. they’re not contemplating and thinking about.CIOs at Work 59 applications anymore that are “stateful” applications. and how much of what you use is older legacy apps? How are you dealing with the legacy apps—are you refactoring any of it? What issues have come up. Not just the talk of it and not just—but the real implementation of agile computing. certainly not cloudbased applications. I have not heard other CIOs emphasize that quite that much. such as: what kind of development projects are you now doing in an “agile” fashion. Okay. or an agile development methodology. everything is an Internet-based function. that’s a good one to add to the list. you certainly can’t develop them in a way that doesn’t contemplate mobility. Even mainframelike applications or client-server-type applications. You mentioned cloud and mobile are the two obvious ones. in terms of the new trends in … IT that are likely to influence … your organization over the next few years. well. and how do you deal with them? Yourdon: Okay. what’s not happening is. Yourdon: Interesting. Are there any other new paradigms or new trends that you see coming along in the next few years? Ford: The real implementation is agile computing. You can’t develop them in a way that isn’t agile in nature. Let me turn it around 180 degrees then and ask about the dark force. when everything. Now you’ve actually touched on a couple of things in the next area that I wanted to discuss. Yourdon: Right. what is the future going to be? What kind of cellular or wireless network am I going to have to have when everything is on. an Internet-based protocol?” Yourdon: Interesting. Ford: It’s not how they work. You .

Ford: So we don’t get to do that anymore. And I don’t think I articulated it well. in a horizontal world. So to do what they demand to do. of big American Airlines or even some of the technology providers deciding what the future of technology is—that’s gone. American Airlines. like a three-legged stool that cannot be broken apart functionally. agile. and you better be able to do it nimbly. in the cloud. So you better build it in a way—in an agile way. for the future. It will dictate what your customers demand. if it’s not based on what consumerbased technologies are driving people to have the capabilities to do— and when I say “consumer-based. irrespective of how good you think your application is. Consumer-based technology. what are the problems that keep you up at night and the things that you really worry about in terms of IT over the next few years? Ford: This is part of what I was saying is challenging IT. It will dictate what your employers demand. because if you can’t connect to people on their BlackBerry. Those three things go together.60 Chapter 3 | Monte Ford: Senior Vice President and CIO. significantly go together in my opinion. I mean. DEC made a living off of helping to open this up. We have to look at and be predictors of the trends and technology and media and stay much more ahead of where things are and … where we think things might be going in order to provide the capability for people to do that. It’s true. know. but the days. We don’t get to go to the mainframe gods and tell everybody what they can network to and what they can do and what they can’t do. I think—you better build it in a way that works mobilely and you better be able to make sure it works up and down quickly. Inc.” individual technologies that people can have and use—then it’s useless. Yourdon: Yes. consumer-based technologies will dictate what big corporations do and how they provide it and what they provide and when and to whom. The difficulty in all this is how do I predict what my budget is? How do I predict what the next things . they’re just not going to talk to you. I don’t care what project we have going on. the hierarchical days. and are a troika./AMR Corp. So one of the challenges we have is we don’t get to determine all the rules anymore.

but you thought your scope was gonna be XYZ. how do you budget an agile-developed project? You have standup meetings every day. in the . you have the scrums every day. Ford: But it’s a better place. So how do you manage technology in a predictable way in that environment? And we’re cutting our teeth on that.CIOs at Work 61 are? I can’t do five. it does. You’re having these agile work sessions where what you started with. or you thought it was going to be XYZ. but you can’t stop the train because the horizontal world provides different security concerns. I mean. You can’t stop the train unless it’s just egregious. Yourdon: Right. is security. where every two weeks you’re coming back. at least not the way that I used to. And then how do you. and I don’t think the whole world has figured that out.and ten-year programs very often anyway. I don’t think that most CIOs … that are not technology providers—I can’t speak for them—but I don’t think that most CIOs in businesses are thinking about things that way. Ford: But that’s a given. or three weeks or four weeks you’re coming back with a prototype. now it’s just Z. and what you started with six months ago is not where you are now. Now scope is ABC and XYZ. And that’s absolutely how we have to think about things. whose first and topmost concern that gives them nightmares every night. and I have to be a pretty good predictor of where we spend money. but I absolutely believe that’s where it’s going and that’s what we’re doing. I’ve got to be able to turn left and turn right quickly. They’ve got to be smaller component-part things. but it’s interesting that you focused on that as the first and foremost item as opposed to what I’ve been hearing from almost every other CIO. Well. Not that I’m suggesting you’re ignoring it at all. Of course. Yourdon: So you see that as one of the big challenges. I certainly would agree with you. I’ve got to be able to do a lot of things that I didn’t have to necessarily do before. I think everything you’ve said makes eminently good sense. ten-minute standup meetings in the mornings. but that wasn’t the first thing that you mentioned.

you may hear that from the supplier guys. It’s not that way at all. Ford: Not that way at all. and cloud technology. we’re dragging the suppliers along with us and demanding that they do things in the way that we need them to do. but the other way around. though. okay. that is interesting. One of the things that I’ve been interested in. this horizontal technology. And by the way. And people like me have to think about security differently. it didn’t look and feel like the data center. It’s suppliers to companies like mine. because you can’t trust the stories. Security has to catch up with—it has to be not the tail wagging the dog. because./AMR Corp. where the impression is that the vendors are leading the way. to adapt to what the needs of the people are. And security better figure out how to catch up … security to me is a given. and there have been a bunch of people saying. Well. we’re dragging the vendors along with us. Yourdon: Interesting. of course. When we first started this cloud computing thing. not us. that’s not stopping. is the level of concern that I’ve heard from some CIOs. It’s not going to look and feel like that.62 Chapter 3 | Monte Ford: Senior Vice President and CIO. mobile computing. ’cause it didn’t look and feel like the mainframe. and we can by the way. American Airlines. and that’s what people are buying. remember. . No. it didn’t look and feel like the client server. And people are always going to provide things that they can sell. you know. Yourdon: Hmm. And … CIOs don’t have this nailed. the consumers are dictating this stuff. they don’t have this figured out as well. and we’re having to do this together. and you’re saying it’s really not that way at all. when I talk about this three-legged stool. Security has to function in a way that we need it to function to be effective.” Well. authentication of stories is much more difficult. news business. they don’t have this licked. this … agile development methodology. we had 150 reasons why we couldn’t do it. And I think that’s kind of different from the popular story that you see in the press. Inc. not the vertical stuff. but. so what things can we do and how can we change the security paradigms. they’re supplier guys. “Stop this horizontal stuff. at the same time. so they think they’ve got all the technology. So you’re saying security is just a given. So it’s not just us following technology trends.

We are all over security. Yourdon: Okay. of course. by the way. I don’t want to. It’s a different mentality. If you can focus on security. security-focused. Yourdon: There’s all the privacy stuff. Or the focus on the future of technology is security. in all business organizations. Interesting. you can focus on shutting down things that happen as opposed to what you can allow to happen in a secure manner. I don’t want by any means to minimize the importance of security. So we are security-. Absolutely. they’re not only coming into your IT department. My only concern is if we can get enough meaningful information from them. security-. too. That’s one of the places where we’re dragging the vendors along kicking and screaming. we just don’t do. And. there have been very few things that we’ve not been able to do. It has to be part of your existence. Ford: I mean. Ford: And things that we can’t do securely. they’re coming through everywhere. and . we’ve got to PCI-a-go-go everything we do. That does make an awful lot of sense. you have to just be that way. that’s pretty significant.CIOs at Work 63 Ford: Oh. Yourdon: Aha. Do you have any concerns about the younger generation in terms of how they use technology or what their expectations are? Ford: No. TSA. Two more areas that I want to ask you about before we run out of time. we have a lot of personal information. But so far. Ed. Incredibly so. Not to focus on the future of technology is shutting things down. If something were to happen and our systems were to shut down. You know. yeah. My only point was. we’re 20 percent of the air commerce in the United States. If we can sit them down long enough to get enough meaningful information from them to be able to chart the course of our future. They’re a tremendous resource all over the company. We’ve already touched on this whole topic of the younger generation or the digital natives or whatever else you might want to call them. We’re all embedded with the government. I mean.

They’re the ones that made this stuff really popular and really work and caused the companies that are supplying the technologies to . with some measures and some security and some control and all that. and the response was incredible. And the other thing is. just people have them at home now. If I have a company full of technologists that work in business and do the job in business every day. they could be sending e-mails out all day instead of doing their jobs! You’ve got to shut this e-mail thing down and figure out how to get it under control. [it] is getting out of hand. you know. People could be using it—my God. They’re starting to be in their homes. no. you really ought to take advantage of them.” So the first thing I did was look into this. This is crazy. it’s a requirement to work here. “The first thing you’ve got to do is this e-mail stuff. no. you know.64 Chapter 3 | Monte Ford: Senior Vice President and CIO. And we opened it up. we got more value and understanding about what we need to do as a company by doing that than by everyone else running around and trying to shut things down.” And they said.” And I convinced people that we should do that. if you’re coming into the management training program or whatever. when I got hired by my customer. these guys are crazy. we’re not trying to limit the technology or the people who understand the technology in the organization./AMR Corp. American Airlines. Personal computers are just causing people to do their own work and. People are using it during the day. “No. “You know. these PCs are out of control.” So I came back with this report that said. I’m happy. the first thing they said [was]. they’re hacking off. Inc. to have technology background. Shut it down.” Yourdon: [laughter] Ford: “Now we’ve got to shut this down. We’re not going to shut this down. And I thought. I mean. Unless you think they’re all stupid. I don’t view that as a limitation or an issue or—I’m not afraid of it at all. I think the same thing is true with people coming in. if we have our way. One of my first jobs. “The way you really get control over it is you let people do what they want to do. Even if they’re technology-savvy. That’s why we transplant people from the business unit into the technology organization and then send them back out.

But this idea of being hired right out of college as a team. or you won’t get as much out of them. which runs afoul of a lot of HR policies. I heard this about a month ago from the CIO of Marriott. Yourdon: That reminds me of a question I wanted to ask you about. The best ideas from YouTube come from … people using it and saying what ought to be the next thing. Not. because we’re in airlines.CIOs at Work 65 them to focus on what their needs are and what they want to do and how they want to do it. How do you manage these guys? How do you manage these people? They’re not going to sit around and listen to you dictate all of the—you know. right? We need a bunch of things because safety is first and foremost in everything we do. And by the way. so we need structure. so you’ve got to have structure. it’s not just technology. you have to embrace it in how you live your life every day. they want to stay together on the next project. But how do you manage a bunch of horizontal employees coming in to a historically vertical organization? You’d better manage them differently. Yourdon: As opposed to just individually? Ford: No. Ford: If you really believe that the world is horizontal and becoming more so. including the people you employ and how you manage them. and I got it . it’s always been common in the IT industry that if a project team works together and bonds. or they’ll leave. Have you seen many instances of younger people being hired into your organization as a team and insisting on remaining together as a team? Ford: No. the genius of some big corporation. that are interesting and different—but a tremendous opportunity. Absolutely. Yourdon: Well. you know. we’ve got to be sensitive here. Yourdon: That certainly is true. So it’s a set of problems that are. as I’m sure you know. because it came up in an earlier interview this morning. and I don’t know how tolerant we are of that in our work environment.

and I had not heard it before a month ago./AMR Corp. and when teams of people come in and start to dictate to you what you can and can’t do and what they will—’cause the next thing they’re going to say is what they will and won’t work on. Inc. I have a very different philosophy. invariably there are other places that are not working as well. proliferate that across and throughout the organization. Yourdon: Right. Ford: That they hire people as a team right out of college? Yourdon: Well. But I don’t subscribe to that philosophy at all. so I was just curious. I’ll take a pass. and I’m not sure how long those kids would be around anyway. We break up teams routinely—highperforming teams. spread out . you have to have a better. greater emphasis on teams and the value of teams. number one. and invariably you get better people and better teams. “You either take all four of us or none of us. Ford: And it’s the best way to get more high-performing teams. “and this is great. and we’re really high-balance. and propagate that across the organization.” you know. the kids insisted on being hired. highperformance. Yourdon: Hmm. American Airlines. if you’re doing agile development. confirmed this morning by the CIO of Arizona Public Services. And I would take a pass because. because that’s how you get the work done.” Ford: I would take a pass.66 Chapter 3 | Monte Ford: Senior Vice President and CIO. you have to focus on teams more. and if you think about it—though. with better people that are crosspollinated. Once a team hits a stride. Ford: So you take the leaders from that team and either create new teams or put them where they will be more effective in taking those traits and characteristics and learnings and things from the team that they were on. we view people as individuals. and they’re cruising and they’re just loving life. you have to pay people differently. They said. and that culturally and functionally put the kinds of attitudes and culture and philosophy out there.

that you would not have had as much of had you not done that. internally focused. it’s not necessarily them as a team. interesting. and that is: where do you see yourself going from here? Do you expect to be a CIO for the rest of your life.CIOs at Work 67 throughout the organization. Yourdon: There you go.” When you routinely break those up. right? You develop these cocky. You get a synergy that exists that otherwise you wouldn’t by sending them across the organization. the rest of the organization—never mind them. Yourdon: Okay. but it’s the overall team. and I think it’s kind of an appropriate question. “my way or the highway. The other thing that it does is … it proliferates the concept of team.” or haves and have-nots. Okay. or thems and those. you get a team effect that’s greater than the sum of the parts. you know. or is this just one of many opportunities along the way? Ford: I was thinking about starting a career writing technology books. you develop these little cocky—especially if they’re working on new stuff. I’m going to ask just one last question. maybe you and I can team up and go to some publisher and demand that we stay together as a team. [laughter] . What do you think? Yourdon: [laughter] It doesn’t pay very well these days! Ford: But as ex-DEC guys. Very interesting. Ford: How do they make the entire world better? ’Cause what you have then is “us against the world.” “I do good work. after a while. because what happens with really high-performing teams that demand to stay together and that kind of thing. How much of a team do you have if you have people that pride themselves on how well they do versus other people at the expense of everybody else as opposed to how they make the entire organization better? Yourdon: Ahh.” “I’m only focused on me.” “just us. but. and.

And I’m not the only one. You’re right. And that’s something that I think I am extraordinarily good at and may be narcissistic or conceited about it. And as it turns out. And so I’m not really focused on it. Inc. but I know that if things keep going the way that they are. having a real strong voice for technology—what a great career. And I can only do one board at a time while I’m here. you know. that there will be people like me that need to help get it there. Not a lot of them have CIOs on the board. So I’m on the board now for—I’ve been on two public boards and one board that’s sort of a utility—and boards are going to continue to need good. But not in the typical Fortune 500 companies. maybe everybody on the board is a technology person. So I would do more than that. but. The world needs to understand how to implement horizontal technology in. I’ve been surprised how infrequently the CIO has been on the board of all the companies I’ve been trying to track down. Ford: But I really don’t know. strong.68 Chapter 3 | Monte Ford: Senior Vice President and CIO. obviously. Yourdon: Oh. Ford: And I’m a very strong believer in all kinds of diversity. American Airlines. But I’m just one person. Yeah. and I think some of those Silicon Valley companies would be a lot better off if they didn’t have just technologists on the board. There will always be a need for technology people. the world needs leadership that is open-minded and open-thinking and not shutting things down./AMR Corp. I’ve been on a couple of public boards also. but I think that part I get. I’ve never really managed my career. but for the time being. Yourdon: You know. . absolutely. There are a whole bunch of people that understand this stuff. absolutely. in a large enterprise environment. Yourdon: It’s a future path that I’ve not heard other CIOs mention. so I completely agree with you that obviously in places like Silicon Valley. Ford: Think about it. You’ve got strong marketing people and financial people and so on. But I think I can help get people to where they need to be. qualified technology people that have experiences like I have in a significant way.

I’m going to wrap this up so that I don’t interfere with the rest of your day of meetings. it will standardize them. maybe later on in their career. all of that. “We are so anti-big company. No matter the size of the company. because today on public boards. and I think that is a wonderful general suggestion as a career path for CIOs at some stage. Okay.CIOs at Work 69 Ford: You know. I also am a firm believer that just as right now. Yourdon: Right. they want to sell to a big company. It makes sense to have that same expertise. Ford: And it makes sense. Yourdon: Well. I don’t. or at least one. they absolutely should. It legitimates them. Wonderful. but if you’re a forward-thinking CEO and you don’t have a technology person on your board—I don’t care what business you’re in—how real forward-thinking are you? You absolutely have to have technologists on your board. I don’t know if it will be a sort of requirement. . but also all these other things that we talked about. irrespective of the product or service. well. Ford: Thank you. if you’re going to live in the free world today. you have to have a financial expert. Sarbanes-Oxley. And as much as even the companies that say. as you know. they’re trying to sell to. it will get them big contracts. Yourdon: [laughter] Right.” the first thing they want to do is sell a contract to a big company. Ford: It makes all the sense in the world to me for any significant board to have a technology expert. like that you’re got to have one certified and all that. because of not only security. People understand the organizations and the structure and the things they’re trying to do. I completely agree with you.

Customer experience at Ladbrokes is delivered by a combination of trading. Sridhara’s career has encompassed Senior Leadership Technology and Product Marketing at Sabre. I think. streaming-content. LLC. a broadband telecommunications company. add flavor to it. Were you a CIO somewhere before? Mittu Sridhara: Yes. Sridhara has an outstanding track record of building high-performance teams. but people were not born into the position of CIO. cross-channel digital business on a global scale. Ladbrokes plc Mittu Sridhara is Group CIO at Ladbrokes PLC. I don’t need to ask where you grew up or where you went to university. banking. Ladbrokes transacts more than £16 billion each year— making it a pure. An international visionary. especially on a global scale in a global organization does. and industry-leading customer experiences. and it’s something I had not anticipated. He is recognized for his customer-centric approach and passion. I actually tell people about who I am. but some of the organizations I’ve . Ed Yourdon: I usually start off the same way. Mr. A leader in the global betting and gaming market. I was. so I’m curious to know how you got to where you are now. And I hope for your sake that it’s very different for you. CIO at Versapoint NV.CHAPTER 4 Mittu Sridhara CIO. Yourdon: It does. Ladbrokes’ innovative KickOff app won the Future Mobile Award for Mobile Gambling 2011. Mr. and Group CIO at Avis Rent A Car System. and gaming platforms personalized by channel. because how you do your job. products.

” I started with American Airlines in what was the decisions group. not through technology. and earned my stripes going from being one of the ‘coders’ to leading the project because the lead got stuck in a previous project at Southwest. the ability to take your reservation. the first big case studies of information being more valuable than the parent company that spawned it. Yourdon: Separate business. so that it makes things different than a lot of people would expect. in agile . I came into the business process side at American and very quickly was noticed as somebody who understood technology but also understood business process. And you get things done through people. something can go wrong at any point in time along the way.” Now I hope you don’t have global crises. literally cutting a version of the product every day. Sridhara: We built an ERP system for what was the travel business as a whole. we built a product that was the ERP for the travel agencies business process. You also get to customers through solutions that have elements of technology that is derived through an understanding of what the customer wants. I believe the global aspect has been a significant part of the job and I’ve operated globally for pretty much most of my career. process it on the GDS in the back end. which then became Sabre Technology. Because. It was built in a very agile manner. who you are and how you perceive and how you message are quite fundamental in how successful you are in getting things done. but I can imagine you have a global scale. In about nine months. So. but that product is still there on the marketplace. I remember that story. Sridhara: I think probably most CIOs at scale have operations to run 24/7.72 Chapter 4 | Mittu Sridhara: CIO. I’m going back a decent period of time. but more importantly. culturally and across geography. And then provide you with all the services you required. I assumed leadership and delivered an ERP for travel agencies. Locked into helping drive deliverables. I’ve been in business now for 22-odd years. with customers in the same room. But also how you implement and influence. is also relevant to the context. I think. And we were able to translate that into the requirements. And by default. Yes. I mean globally. as you call them today. or the user stories. whenever there’s a crisis anywhere in the world—of which there are many today—“We get a phone call at three in the morning because our organization is global. So I consider myself a “young body with high miles. I understood what the customer wanted. I was starting to manage teams as a whole. Ladbrokes plc spoken with have said. That was one of the.

that gave me the experience to help execute as a CIO. for what needed to be built. and a very good consultant at seeing what it is that needs to get done. And you also learn through building other people and building businesses. You can be a consultant up front. and these are three very separate things. but after that. 73 . I come in to work every day to keep learning. So. but in organizational delivery terms. and then refining the plan as you deliver it to be the right result—you could think of it as agile. So it’s a daily and a career aspiration. it’s strategic agile. Yourdon: Well. yes. The magic sauce to me is not just in the theory of what you need to do. I’ve been a CIO for. but I ended up then using technology to enable solutions for business.CIOs at Work terms. at a certain point I had to go get my MBA” or “They sent me off to learn about finance and accounting and so forth. “Well. Sridhara: Mark Zuckerberg didn’t go to school to learn how to build Facebook. So you’re constantly learning. So the answer to this is. Yourdon: One of the questions I’ve asked in this early stage of just about everyone is whether they received any formal education along the way. once you got on this track that was about to lead you where you are now? Sridhara: From an educational point of view. it was a progression of different roles and responsibilities—jobs and different career spans and spans of control. at a group level. as you rise up through the ranks. but understanding true context. for about ten years now. And how you refine it as you do it to get the job done. there was not a traditional technology part then. I was kind of completing my portfolio of tools that I use every day. Learning is such an important thing to me. but it’s also in understanding how you do it. grow. especially for me. But in terms of building up to it. I think for all of us. But I do believe in applying them practically. so it’s been a school in and of itself.” There has been a lot of emphasis on broad education at an early stage. I should say. to take on responsibilities that help you learn. yes. and then starting to deliver it. it seems to be very much on-the-job training. it’s interesting how few people have said. I went and signed up with London Business School and got some of the finance and marketing sides. Did you go to CIO school or get an MBA. To learn literally every day and every year. refine. learning is big every day.

very. And that is the question of whether you had any significant mentors or role models that helped shape who you are today? Sridhara: I’ve been very fortunate. And I was out at Gartner now ten-odd years ago. One last question in this sort of “getting started” area. What’s interesting to me when I reflect on your question is not only were they mentors back then. If I reported like Tesco’s. my prices are also going to go electronic. And everybody has had a slightly different story to tell me there. Nowhere else in my entire career have I been somewhere where real time is truly. Ladbrokes plc Not just the technology. For example. achieving the objectives you mentioned of competitive differentiation and driving value and just keeping the lights on. and continue to learn because these relationships last a lifetime. I should probably talk to you about strategy. because often CIOs. I’ve always looked at mentoring not just in a business context but mentors as role models. so that you understand the context. probably nine years. Why don’t we start with the first part. differentiation. about differentiation? How do you see IT achieving that. while you currently run the business that is in play. and I still look at some of them today and look at how they’ve chosen the basic life decisions they’ve made. Any simple strategy boils down to three things: differentiate and grow topline revenue and differentiate and drive more value. I think. my shelves are electronic. we service every single penny of our £16 billion. Because I look back at them when they were young managers.74 Chapter 4 | Mittu Sridhara: CIO. Yourdon: Now you mentioned a moment ago. are enabling businesses to do more. they continue to be friends/mentors/role models to this day. I would be reporting 15 to 16 billion in stakes yearly. Ladbrokes has more retail outlets than Tescos in the UK. I’ve had people that I’ve worked with where several people stand out.000m). It’s not our true turnover. I think. There are several people that come to mind. very fortunate. which is how you see IT here at Ladbrokes. or how are you using IT to achieve that? Sridhara: Fundamentally. or they differentiate at a lower cost overall. The market capitalization is £1bn ($2. truly real . because in many of my jobs. drop costs and do more for less. and not just career decisions. And you learn from them. talking about real-time systems. Yourdon: Very quickly. My can of beans is electronic. the next major area I want to get into. It’s probably worth taking a moment to describe the business. So when it comes to the solutions in IT.

to match up with the video feed. it requires streaming video or stats around a game. You have a choice to put it back in or take it and walk away. So two seconds can make a huge difference. It’s also about operational processes being automated because you’re doing this for fun. if a horse leaves the gate. your flat text message. not just the mobile device. and even that is going digital. the customer.CIOs at Work time. You could be viewing it on-screen on what is effectively streaming media on the wall in a shop. So that ability to digitize what is manual. Yes. in subseconds. And we’ve got to bring all those together in real time. it includes price. Across channels we are a customer experience and entertainment company and delivering a rich entertainment experience to you. if you’d like to bet or game. with the right product is critical. because we’re in the space of providing a rich piece of entertainment to you. the sooner we actually give you something back. In this business. a price. is an interesting opportunity. Convergence is coming to us much quicker than it is to anybody else because the only physical thing in our business is cash. and you could place a bet on a handwritten slip. because others have to deal with it as well. we might have a problem. and you place a bet two seconds later. you can engage. the sooner you have a choice. I know you come to this question a little later in your series of questions around what are the big differences and emerging trends. you know. If we capture that bet incorrectly at the wrong price. By real time we’re talking about 20 milliseconds of latency making a big difference. around you. but also ensuring the pinning enablement is all correct. A smart device now suddenly starts to make that possible. So it’s about ensuring the price to be right. thus new battleground for the Googles and everybody else around payments. Before it wasn’t. Because the iPhone 5 is expected to have a digital wallet. but the smart mobile device. we could be out millions of pounds. And we are at the forefront of most industries. because suddenly it’s immersive. 75 . and the technology underpinnings is what does it for this business. but to get the right price. if there’s an example on the betting side of our business. The reason it is a new battleground is because of convergence. The smart mobile device for us. The whole industry is in the process of understanding the customer. which includes content. and what the customer wants is key. So that’s where you have really rapid convergence coming our way.

We are strictly regulated. the customer is and what you want. Obviously. Why more ‘e’ than Amazon? It’s more than just product.76 Chapter 4 | Mittu Sridhara: CIO. and we’ve grown up in the silos of retail and a web-emerging web channel. As a bank. we deliver the personalization. but we’ve never really looked at our business and said. but in the past we’ve done it very differently. What we’re in the process of doing is automating the underpinning business processes. this is just one business really. look. where the product has to be delivered through a web channel but also has to be delivered instore.” as a tagline. there’s a real-time aspect to that too—but how fast would my profile change and to what extent can you anticipate my future profile and perhaps offer me opportunities or games or transactions that I might not have thought about on my own? Sridhara: That’s what I call “more ‘e’ than Amazon. It’s now about how do you make the technology—the technology’s come alive for the segment—how do you then apply it effectively to the business processes you already have? Yourdon: One of the things that you just said intrigued me. because we are in the Web 3. but also. They’re all technology enabled. So it’s just a fascinating space. the customer. We cannot always do what another retailer can do. we have traders. . Ladbrokes plc How do I then ensure that everything is consistent and engages around regulation as well. socially interacting in-store. We’ve always looked at our platforms. you. 1 The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is the regulator of the financial services industry in the UK. to where. and you don’t need to do them separately and differently. We have people aggregating and disseminating content around understanding you. “Oh.0 business in that our customers are already watching media. A large range of products. which is another key element for us. and we’ve grown up very differently. building the platforms around you the customer. It’s a product where the price is varying by the second. To deliver a seamless customer experience while you’re performing trading. more so than the FSA1 on what you can and cannot do and what we’re required to do as well. because we are. you need to deliver them differently around who. also has to be delivered on the smartphone. in terms of being aware of a customer profile. rather. and all of those things have to be cohesive and coherent.” It’s a betting business and a gaming business in its core constituent parts. and buying product. as we understand you better. Yes.

And that’s what we’re in the process of building right now. So we have to be very innovative in how we underpin all this technology and how we build. is there anything special you all do in that area. and as a result I’m able to build a good level of redundancy into how we deliver it. Computing power. but. The buzzword is always cloud. So we’re going from this ‘push it all out and some of you will take’ to this ‘push-pull engaged. It’s our ability to give you what you need and when you need it. The third basic part of the overall objective that you mentioned a moment ago is something that I characterize as keeping the lights on. it’s engaging in real time. if you do not wish to be known. and we will interact with you as such across channels. we are delivering those platforms on industry-standard technologies at a fraction of the prices that most banks would pay. And building it in a cross-channel manner. To deliver exactly the same thing. We’re not capable of making the same investments in these areas. then we will not only respect that. it’s getting cheaper as well. just running stuff. However. other than just redundancy and huge numbers of servers all over the place? Sridhara: We can’t afford huge numbers of servers. This is a bank without the cash to do it all.CIOs at Work The average customer is looking for an experience. I’ve got the economies of scale. being able to do it securely is key. which is actually a banking platform effectively. There are other. so wherever it touches. you obviously have to do so in a very high-performance fashion. We’re in the process of building a trading platform. but some of the systems integrators refuse to bid at the prices I was asking for. new technologies that are coming down the road. And I assume also reliability and availability and all those sorts of traditional parameters are almost as important as they would be for a nuclear reactor or an air traffic control system.’ but again. as a whole. where every nanosecond counts. [both laughing] Sridhara: We have the same challenges without the same budgets or investments. And from everything you’ve just said. And that’s the good thing about technology. it looks and feels consistent to you. Yourdon: That’s really fascinating. you know. but we will ensure that this is the case. the way you need it. Umm. On the other hand. 77 .

Which is why the back-end ability to process all of it is key. is key and also the virtualization of that capacity.000 bets a minute just before an event. a bet in our business is about the same as Visa or MasterCard transactions. and that will continue to increase pretty dramatically. getting combinations. Whole continents [that] could not afford computing at all before now can—and therefore. it’s streaming. Computing power will get cheaper. But there’s some point where things that were simply not possible before suddenly become possible. Sridhara: But it’s about you as a customer and your experience. So we are pretty “peaky” in how we have to transact. it’s not only taking the cash out of your wallet and putting it back in. it’s a sale which then has to be transacted. faster. and smaller and for Ladbrokes. Now. So with a smart device. what you may be receiving sitting and watching television. So one transaction typically means six different things that have to happen. and re-computed for how much you may win to manage liability. monitored. but whether it’s free or almost free. It’s not only the payment. It may be supported by advertising or something like that. Ladbrokes plc We are very “spiky”—we’ll go from 600 bets a minute to 6. it’s also about getting the right prices. and it needs to compute. where a 10 percent decrease in price or a 10 percent increase in CPU cycles isn’t going to make a whole lot of difference. this whole idea of mobile computing becoming more widely dispersed. And so how affordable computing is. But on the back end. in simple terms. Yourdon: There is one aspect of what you’ve just said. and you have come to expect that it is as good as. But you’re also expecting to transact on it and look up other things in additional windows while you’re watching the video. as an example. you’ve got to then be able to deliver all of that at scale. Yourdon: Okay. It’s compressed. it has suddenly opened up entirely new markets. Now. it’s about coming back to strategy. and value. our ability to continue to deliver the experience that the customers are looking for in an affordable way is absolutely key. if not better than. although I’m not sure what form it will take. so you will never know how many people are going to be engaging with you on mobile devices.78 Chapter 4 | Mittu Sridhara: CIO. But there seem to be quantum jumps. So it’s not just a sale. In many areas it’s gotten to the point where computing activity is essentially free. So in our business in particular. you’re starting to expect that you have live streaming. and the high end of computing. I . differentiation. And I assume that’s going to happen in your case. that requires a certain amount of computing power on the front end. managing liability behind it.

Do you see that multiplying by another factor of 10 or a factor of 100? Sridhara: Well. But also in our market. Yourdon: What about the whole area of data visualization? I would imagine that some. so to speak. “And you like building games. Yourdon: Interesting. So that gets visualized for the trader. if you’re a games developer. Is there any aspect of that that’s relevant in your world? Sridhara: It’s relevant. different versions of games take in marketplaces.000 different things possibly coming into setting up an event. We’re in the process of automating our entire trading floor. and then you can become part of an app store. Yes. and we do run different versions of games. look. so not every market is available. have become potential customers for you. That might not have been the case before.” an example of which is Wikipedia. to saying. they like variety. if you go to our current website. One of the points that has been mentioned to me by some of the other CIOs is that as the overall cost of computing has dropped and. although I suppose it will go on for another five or ten years. You don’t need to have the horsepower to run it. and people have enough spare time and good thoughts in their hearts that they’re willing to contribute some of their surplus cognitive power to. if not all. once we can open up what we do. Not everybody in Africa has a cell phone yet. by any means at all. a more understandable digest. And they’re actually in test runs going live right now for some markets and then we’ll continue gradually adding all markets. We now have the computing power available. I’ll provide you a development toolkit to build games.” “We will run it for you. customers like different games. When the markets do become available.” as an example. “Hey. Let alone China or India. of the things that you’re dealing with involve the possibility of presenting enormous quantities of data to a trader or a player. you can go ahead and build it. you will see stats for how a 79 . But there’s a lot of visualization and can have 20. I don’t know how much more there is to go on in that direction.” Games are an example.CIOs at Work assume. we now have a phenomenon that one of the American authors refers to as a “cognitive surplus. but also. it’s about regulated markets. They can make decisions based on that. it’s certainly a factor of 10x. Where it would be wonderful if there were some way of boiling it down to. Sridhara: Very much so. It will happen at a much bigger scale as time goes by. to do things like open-source computing or Wikipedia or any number of other examples. you will have phenomenal steps in growth.

So visualization is a key element of the experience—for certain customer types. You may do it in such a way that it’s safe-fail as opposed to fail-safe. That’s already there and making it more visual is clearly going to be a turning point. if anything? Sridhara: You never have a problem. just by their very nature. is this an opportunity to address something now in a different way. not just a server.80 Chapter 4 | Mittu Sridhara: CIO. What is it that keeps you awake at night. because it may not be that the customer sees that as the most relevant thing to your experience. the answer I get almost immediately revolves around security. but the way you fix it is as important as what you fix. which is a foot next to the other. “Okay. what broke. On the gaming machines. So when something is an opportunity. I won’t say more than saying they’re going to engage you visually. going to require vast amounts of additional computing power to be able to do the back-end computation and presentation to the user. That is going to be interesting. you go about it differently because you go about it and say. So it’s about getting it right for who you are and what you want. so that it does not become an ongoing problem?” Sridhara: So it’s often an opportunity to go in and fix. being able to provide that and then in some of the platforms. Ladbrokes plc horse performed or how a footballer performed at a previous match or what their history was. Yourdon: Well. Sridhara: But it’s also about the tolerance as you talked about earlier. too. we’re looking to roll out. And the Asians more so than us and some of our customers here and other geographies. Again. of course. a lot of those areas are. like to see and understand the patterns. And I would imagine in your case. and how do you ensure that it doesn’t break again? Or if it does break. the mismatch between dealing with the technology of security threats while also being constrained by all of the regulatory things that you have to live under. we are in the process of testing a game in China. understand what’s happening. And all able to fit on a small screen. So it has to have a price update at the same time. you always have an opportunity. is it okay for it to break. Yourdon: And. Yourdon: Usually when I ask that question. You’ve got to look at what the customer wants. I got a mobile device. It’s a question of how you address the problems. let me change from all the wonderful futures and opportunities to the dark side of the force—the problems and the risks. .

We’ve got things like DDoS2 protection. It’s certainly something that I constantly re-evaluate. Forty-five years ago. It’s not optional. and we also foster innovation and an open culture here to where every idea is a good idea. constantly reviewing where you are. and we look to them in a way. x . security is always a threat to anybody right now in operating in any electronic form. who said that. But we have this constant influx of new students who are smarter than us and more inquisitive than us. PCI-compliant or the gambling acts and everything else. It’s some of our partners as well. Yourdon: And get data about it. I’m coming from regulation. fail fast. But DDoS attacks and security. but succeed faster. automatic blocking that goes in place. which is something you’ve got to comply with. often an idea in one geography for regulation purposes cannot be applied in the other. how you’re doing it.CIOs at Work which usually moves a lot more slowly than the technology. in terms of re-evaluation. 2 81 Distributed denial of service. What has changed? Can we address it differently today?” Yourdon: The way you just raised this a moment ago took me back to a comment made by the CIO of one of our universities. That’s one. Our customers are looking for different types of services. so it’s something you’re constantly looking for. because I’ve been in the field for 45 years. and we’re not always able to keep up with everything. absolutely. or the way people come at you can continue to change and become more sophisticated. So we have innovation or ideas coming out at us in so many different ways. he looks to his students because he said. How do you balance those two things? Sridhara: Frankly. Second. my peers don’t know everything. “That’s how we were choosing to address the problem yesterday. but you have lessons learned that can be applied. saying. One last thing that has always struck me. so it’s always designed with compliance right from the start. “I don’t know everything. I agree.” Is there anything equivalent in your case? I can imagine it could be some of your customers. as people on the edge of the frontier. Because of our geographic spread. for example. we’ve got 24/7 monitoring alerts that go out should patterns change. yes. It’s a simple thing: fail. And everything is designed to be secure and compliant. It’s industry peers. Sridhara: Our customers.

So you draw rings. Ladbrokes plc much of what we dealt with in technology was very expensive and very scarce and therefore controlled very diligently.82 Chapter 4 | Mittu Sridhara: CIO. And they not only think they know how to run their business better than you do. still seems to be this top-down hierarchal kind of mechanism that’s just completely out of place. as you progress. They need levels of authorization for customer data. you know. Sridhara: And that has to do with what worried me earlier. It’s also about business process—which is why solutioning is an important thing. as an example. or customers in your case—may well have better technology at home than what they’re going to find in the office. And I’m just curious as to your thoughts about. you can address some of these opportunities differently. if you will. How do you go about achieving the kind of influence you need . concentric rings. But now. they’re also interacting with their business peers. You’ve got to hammer security and apply it in layers. sometimes they think they know how to run your business better than you do. You’ve got to look at everything as a service. If you’re a trader. where there’s lots of customer data. of course. Yourdon: That’s a very good point. how to deal with that. is completely secure today and will always [be] in the future. so much technology has become cheap to the point of almost being free. And trading information. And yet the control structure that I’ve seen in a lot of IT organizations. As long as they’re not extracting customer data. heads of business departments or product departments. those trader apps and perhaps you’re trading as a trader where you do it. x role in y. I will choose to provide you with a laptop and anything else you need and have it completely encrypted and wipeable remotely. Bringing them services that matter. we’ll have a different amount of security and it will be a different boundary than deep down here. yes. So the average user is just coming in and doing Word documents and e-mail. of course. led by the CIO. who are very smart people and very competent people and often have very strong opinions that have helped them succeed. so if you’re a trader. starting with the customer. What I have found with all of the CIOs I’ve spoken to is that they’re focusing on all these technology issues that we’ve been talking about—but. So if you look at it again from the “what data matters?” [standpoint]. the organization is now looking for something greater than what they should be looking for. but employees everywhere. and pervasive to the point where our employees—not just in the IT department. And then.

but trust is something that is earned both ways. So it goes without saying that competence underpins all of that. we may have different views of how we think we may address it. they’ve got great ideas. because you’re comparing notes on how best to solve it and often find. but they may not trust you’ll get the job done. “Yes. they may trust you. So that bringing the sum of the parts together—you know. In every business I’ve been in. by doing what you say and saying what you do. as a result.” but I increasingly think “2 + 2 = 22. and you understand the end customer. and do so quickly and you build trust. So if I’m addressing the same problem they’re trying to address. 83 . and it often is the ground of convergence. So it’s about people combining and collaborating now even more so than before. Now. if you’re incompetent. About being trustworthy. Let me combine these with the ideas my team can bring. And I think part of it is. so there’s this element of trust that has to be built up—because even though your business peers may think you’re all trying to achieve the same objectives. we’re on the same side. very important. Now the key thing is to ensure results—because this is where agile comes in. In a fast-moving world. Over time. but we’re fundamentally trying to solve the same issue. I’ve been very.” And that’s very. Sridhara: I’m not sure there is a quick way to win trust. you can deliver to your end customer. they’re all partnered together. fundamentally. they might not necessarily agree with your particular perspective or your solution or your priorities. because if you focus around the customer in agile. then they’re all partners. I seldom had many challenges in working with my colleagues to get the job done. what I used to call “2 + 2 = 5.” and together you come up with solutions that no one person would have come up with. I think you can get going quickly. because you’re doing that in dialogue. and all those only can be established with some time. Now I think one of the reasons it’s been a problem in some of the other situations I’ve seen is that the CIO has sometimes only been in his or her position for a short period of time. no one area can see it all. competence—clearly. I’m incentivized as much as they are to deliver business results and shareholder value by driving customer growth. if you look at it from a customer view. to your mutual customer. very lucky. Yourdon: I certainly agree with that. about having integrity.CIOs at Work to avoid risks and to take advantage of opportunities that hopefully you do know more about because of your expertise? Sridhara: Excellent question. I think you probably know the answer and where I was going to come at it from.

by default. Yourdon: One of the people I interviewed was the former CIO of the American Defense Department. looking at things differently. not just in the IT department. You know. but they’ve got young programmers who are on Facebook who can reach out and effectively communicate. That’s important to the new generation as it is to everybody else. I suggest. So they’re a part of the team and this is part of encouraging innovation right through the workforce. He’s very concerned with what he regards .” They are looking for places that have values and core ethics. where their traditional IT people simply don’t know how to reach a generation of college students that the bank wants to get as bank customers. let me switch gears to the two last areas. but also improving how we drive what we do. They’ve grown up in a world of Google and multimedia. but with them they bring. and driving solutions that work. not really. work for the person who’s come in but also result in driving the right customer experience. Is that something that you see a lot of around here? Is this something that you think it’s good or bad or irrelevant? Sridhara: I think it’s good. our customers are in the same space. Any negatives? Any concerns about the new generation of digital natives or digital whatever you want to call them? Sridhara: No. they come in different flavors. And that’s the common answer I end up with. It’s a good representation of what I’ve got to solve anyway and solve for externally. because of the space we’re in. “This is what they all want. They want to understand more about what they are doing and how they do it. And you can only rely on trust during that period because you had no intermediate results or prototypes or daily builds. you often didn’t have anything to deliver for seven years. I think they’re all different. Again. I’m very curious about everyone’s opinion about the “new generation. That is a very good point. Yourdon: Well. The question of work-life balance is a bigger question for them than it was for some other generations. And it’s an exciting place given the challenges we have. they’re arriving everywhere in the organization. but everywhere. And.84 Chapter 4 | Mittu Sridhara: CIO. and having that on the inside just brings good ideas—right inside our building. you can do a pattern and say. when I first got started in the field. It tends to really lend itself to new ideas. Well. Yes. Ladbrokes plc Yourdon: Exactly. of course. Armed with their smart mobiles and their different attitudes.” whether you call them digital natives or whatever. I’ve been even hearing about that in banks. We increasingly see a lot more of it coming into our workplace. They place different emphasis. Overall it’s good in that it always challenges how you keep your own employees engaged. that is a very good point.

And I think they bring a valuable perspective. Effectively. they’re always closely associated with the front end. that’s a good thing. All of them aren’t going to fit into a mold. I very much appreciate your time. Well. Well. All right. some of them will take to customer experience. you know. and then I‘ll let you go. They can find an answer to at least 80 percent of the questions you ask them very. I think I will turn this off. which is great. first of all. and the solutioning of the services. I think. Yourdon: Okay. 85 . shareholder value and customer experience. is there a future life? Sridhara: Is there a future life? I think there is. especially when you come at it from a solution view and you get technology. on some intellectual question for long periods of time because they’ve grown up in a world where they can find something on Wikipedia right away. they can Google something right away. Some of them will take to program management. When we’re in roles like the ones I’ve held and I’ve had the luxury of holding. I’ve been on both sides of the fence as being a pure “CIO” and running technology and product marketing for a B2B and B2C. let’s answer the latter one. Delivering product platform and solutions to enable enterprise value. Is that something you see at all? Sridhara: I think they adapt to the workplace with time—if you provide them with good mentoring and structure. increasingly. There is a future life. roles will fuse and will evolve. So every role I’ve had has been technology-intense with the customer at the core. can’t do better than that. They will take to different roles as you start understanding their strengths. and you get the customer. very quickly. So. customer end. I think the people who want to grow and evolve will continue to have fascinating roles. It’s the obvious final question: where do you see yourself going from here? After life as a CIO. contribution and energy and also make every manager and the world think differently as well. I certainly expect to have a lot of fun over the next 15 or 20 years.CIOs at Work as the superficiality of the younger generation. and they don’t ever have to spend more than ten minutes thinking about anything. and I think it will continue to evolve because I think increasingly technology enables the business and the running of the business are fusing even closer. their inability to spend a lot of time really focusing and concentrating on. Yourdon: One last question. Yes. And with that.

quality assurance. Rubinow was Chief Information/Technology Officer for NextCard Inc. and Vice President of Corporate Management Information Systems at Fidelity Investments in Boston. Dr. which then merged with Euronext in 2007 to form NYSE Euronext. parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).CHAPTER 5 Steve Rubinow Executive Vice President and CIO. and a PhD in Chemistry. Dr. Inc. Previously he was the Chief Technology Officer for Archipelago Holdings Inc. Rubinow has a BS and an MS in Chemistry. operations. and technical support for the Archipelago Exchange (one of the original electronic communications networks to officially serve as an institutional stock exchange). He began his career as a systems analyst at the Continental Bank in Chicago. customer connectivity. Previously. . NYSE Euronext Steve Rubinow is Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of NYSE Euronext. an MBA in Marketing and Finance (where he ranked first in his graduating class). where he was responsible for software development.. Vice President and Chief Information Officer at AdKnowledge. in Chicago.. an MS in Computer Science. where he is responsible for all aspects of technology as well as global innovation for the leading stock exchange in the world. The company merged with the New York Stock Exchange in 2006.

” But if you talk to certain people on any given day. everything is electronic. I remind them that we love that they are our vendors. as opposed to an exchange firm that has something to do with technology. That is what people first think the New York Stock Exchange is for.88 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. But also in some small way—and maybe big ways in the future—they are our competitors. So yes. I can certainly imagine IT is “strategic. It is important. but smaller. Certainly. war terms are quite common here though we don’t want to use “bull’s eye. The other thing is if you were to define our business as we do. except for on the floor downstairs. The vast majority of trading takes place with servers talking to servers. That is for a couple of reasons. But what element of your IT is strategic? And how? Steve Rubinow: It is interesting that you said that because a lot of times in the past. people will talk about our industry as an arbitrary battle ground. Finally I would think it’s one of the most promising businesses we have. Every product and service that we build or create for ourselves we are certainly willing to sell to others. is the technology business. which is the newest one and the most interesting. Rubinow: A relatively small percentage of our volume goes to the floor and sometimes people ask me what’s the floor for. even though that sort of thing has been out of date for five or ten years. We said to the world last year that within five years we would be a billion dollar business. We love what they do with us. with human traders waving sheets of paper. That is an important. So the technology feature of the company’s services is a big part of the business in terms of becoming a technology vendor. NYSE Euronext Ed Yourdon: The questions I thought I would start off with are the more strategic ones. One is the cash trading business. part of what we do. the open outcry system with people exchanging slips of paper. Second is the derivatives trading business—we have a healthy global business in both cash and derivatives. The third one. Yourdon: And I was just thinking about the kind of things they show people on television. So it is an interesting focus. they will tell you that this is a technology firm that happens to run exchanges. One is that without technology there is no firm. we put it into three segments. which I try to point out to our vendors. or why do you still have a . Humans are the trading model builders but they are not there in the middle for the most part where it takes place.” though I don’t want to say “weapon” here. that’s from another era.

you have to do it in high volumes. Our customers do not like oscillations in response time. it has definitely. And it makes a great platform for CNBC. we may reevaluate. the hardware and all the resources in a computer environment. Yourdon: At the other extreme is a whole phenomenon that I was unaware of is the high volume of the high-frequency trading business. run at millions of messages per second. They want them to be perfectly flat so you get low variance and low response rate with high transaction volume—it has to be very secure. It is a service that offers yet another option for the customer. but makes perfect sense: The floor will be there as long as there are customers who vote with their dollars and support it. and it is becoming more pronounced in Europe. The customers support it. When you finally develop the software. And then. and all our in-house media outlets broadcasting from here. You put all these things together and it makes for an interesting technical platform. If it ever changes. of course. Designing something in an industry that is concerned with micro-second response times. I say what sounds like a company line. the trend has happened for a number of years in the United States. the network.CIOs at Work floor? So many exchanges throughout the world no longer have a floor. As long as that model still is viable. Some of our systems. I was staggered to see what a large fortune we are all seeing. They have largely disappeared. and. very reliable. Will that continue growing? Rubinow: Yes. it is one of the most interesting things we do. It makes money for us. rather than broadcasting from a lifeless place like some of our competitors. That is something I wanted to point out to people. But it is the only way you can do it with microseconds here and there. 89 . I think the floor is a small but significant portion of the trading that goes through here. we keep it. too. from the technology perspective. And you have to do it with very little jitter. In my mind it is really just a matter of time before it becomes the norm in Asia and the other continents. we have to not only understand how to write good functional software. you have to realize all these things make it an interesting job. cost-effective. but it doesn’t look like it is going to change. Fox News. In order to develop that. but we also have to know how to write efficient software and you have to understand the operating system. of course. like our market data systems.

The other way some people have done is that they modify the length of the cable. which was built in a circular architecture to make all the processors equidistant from the core. but that is one way. And now it is back again. If that changes.” OK. Most of the space in the data centers is not for us. and we were starting to be so much more relaxed about that long list of criteria. we are not doing that. Yes that’s a difference but I don’t know that you can take advantage of a couple of nanoseconds today. “OK. You’ll appreciate this when you walk a customer into the data center. the closer you are. Rubinow: We have two new data centers that we completed last year.” But in thinking about this. So the trading engines are the core and all the customers could be in the perimeter of the circle. And that is a few feet closer from where I am. That’s a bit extreme—but these are the sensitivities of the industry. The further away you are. we thought about how does one mitigate that? Well. So let’s see what a few feet means… that is a couple of nanoseconds.90 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. what is that over there?” “It’s for another customer and that is all you need to know. but this is what some people have done to create the schematic to make everyone exactly the same to the smallest conceivable increment of time. one is. and they see where our trading engines are. as everybody else and that a nanosecond difference is unacceptable. So that is one way. It reminds me of the ’60s and ’70s when their hardware was less technical and more limited than ours. the shorter the cable. it is for our customers. They see where their equipment is placed and they’ll see some other equipment and sometimes they’ll say. I don’t know…but it is not something I would make a big deal about because I really don’t think it should be important to you. Mostly because they want to reduce the limis of the speed of light in the problem. maybe ten years. the speed of light is about a one foot a nanosecond (in a vacuum). “Well. . the more slack in the cable. That is very interesting. And I’ll say. You would think it is crazy. let’s review this. NYSE Euronext Yourdon: So performance is part of the problem. One in New Jersey and one outside of London. Rule of thumb. I hadn’t thought of that. we will take a look at it. if we go back to something many people would remember— depends how old they are—go back to the design of the computer like the Cray. Maybe next year.

” before it existed. We are constantly white boarding new products and services that we think the industry would want and may know to come to us or may not even know they need yet. what is the fastest speed you can possibly achieve by integrating the most advanced technology and at what point is it a limitation of processors that are not fast enough or memory that isn’t fast enough. I always wanted one of those. but now that you’ve described it to me. we keep pushing the technology envelope in the trading business. There was an article in the New York Times today that said just exactly that. And so we are trying to come up with all kinds of things like that. Last question I have in the section is to ask your perspective of what IT is doing to retire old legacy systems and prepare for what we cannot do today.” Yourdon: It is funny you should mention it. etc. perhaps with focus groups for customers. and I am sure my peers in other companies have calculated. I just didn’t know it until now. it’s one of these things where that’s so true in so many other industries. “Gee. we address the needs of what we refer to as the capital markets community. “Oh yeah. And so we are trying to be on the edge of technology and do whatever is possible. And we do have other considerations we can’t get around. I never thought of that. they wouldn’t know what to say. “Technology would enable the following things. I have calculated. “Describe to me what kind of iPod-like device you would like.” But it just wasn’t in their 91 . and people said. Yourdon: So you have the “aha” opportunity to introduce something down the road? Rubinow: Yes. and I’m now paying closer attention to things I have been unaware of. There are some staggering numbers. Rubinow: The thing is. It is not the customer’s job to figure out what he or she wants. Having said that in the technology business. We constantly strive to improve. But then Apple built one. I never knew that was possible.” They would say. Rubinow: I probably have done that so many times. If you ask a customer what they would want—for example. It’s the job of the company. but it makes perfect sense. You see someone and say. the iPod—if you went to people and said.CIOs at Work Yourdon: I was completely unaware of these issues until I got involved as an expert witness in a lawsuit related to high-frequency trading. it sounds like a fantastic idea.

When we were doing the search. When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. their immediate instinct is to continue doing old.” The third thing is the most telling. Yourdon: I don’t want to go too far off on a tangent. but who started off in a totally different career. several people said he had never worked in our industry. I wanted to look in other industries. he had never worked in a regulated industry. and bring a different perspective than people who have worked their whole life in financial services. That is why I am a big promoter of people that have worked in different industries coming together. Is that something you run into in your business as well? Rubinow: We do run into it because the financial services industry is full of really smart people.92 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. “No problem. they are smart enough to know it. I have already interviewed the CIO of Microsoft who ultimately got into the Silicon Valley kind of world. And this is true of all kinds of things that go back to hundreds of years. But I said.” So it is nice to get other people with different perspectives. “Well. but there is another aspect to this as I am sure you heard of. Yourdon: I am wondering if I will see that there is a pattern. take your blinders off. It is not rocket science. They said because he had never worked in our industry. He’ll learn that too.” Second thing. familiar things—maybe a little faster or cheaper—instead of looking to complete new applications. so I brought this fellow in who came from Silicon Valley. and sometimes when you help break them out of it. he’ll learn. We just recently hired a head of global development. He is not stupid. but they never spent the time to do it. he has never worked with difficult people. We haven’t cornered the market for difficult people. Only half of my group has spent their whole career in financial services while the other half are newer to financial services. When you first introduce a new technology to some people. I am . NYSE Euronext gestalt to think about such things and they use it like a little blast from left field to remind them.” I said. He was an accomplished software guy and when he interviewed here. he himself told people what they could do was stay home in the comfort of their own living room and listen to a live performance of an artist playing in a concert hall. he’ll learn. OK. He’ll understand the rules. but in many cases they are smart people who are in a particular valley or rut mentally. “Oh man. because they didn’t have the stimulus or catalyst to make them see things in a different light or from a new perspective.

Maybe there are subtle differences around. yet they are. I find different people in every generation. meaning people in their twenties working here. I don’t know if such distinctions help us that much in what we do. I have found smart people in every generation. Maybe a 20-year-old is better at video games. buy a bigger server. but maybe the examples haven’t jumped out at me. in my limited experience I read and hear all about that. Rubinow: Yes. Rubinow: We will take advantage of it. we are very cost-conscious. and I will say. the idea is not to rely solely on hardware because the software has to be hyper 93 . and LinkedIn as someone in their twenties. and I believe that is true even with a CIO as well. In my immediate work environment. They are certainly not strangers to technology. and if I heard it once. but second of all. Rubinow: Well you know. hybridization often yields a stronger product. They grew up with video games. The fact that we have the younger kids without all the preconceptions.CIOs at Work wondering how to differentiate between the ones who are really interesting and the ones that are not interesting. Twitter. Yourdon: Well. and that is one of the positive aspects of technology we have today. but they didn’t think the big discoveries were as likely as they got older. I don’t see a profound difference. They are used to very visual interfaces. I can tell you that I think all the time about the younger generation. but I just haven’t noticed them. for years and years prominent scientists said that their most creative discoveries were in their twenties. I find that someone in their forties may frequent and be as adept at Facebook. oh well. We don’t have that luxury here because. it’s a profound change to go from a world where we have limited resources that are very expensive that are controlled and regulated and doled out very carefully to a place where many of these are pervasive and free and therefore ought not to be controlled. with my biochemist background. Yourdon: There is another aspect of this that I thought you would be able to comment about: the generational phenomenon. They have certain expectations for what their workplace should be like. When I was a developer I used to ignore performance in software—because the assumption was. I have heard it a thousand times. You know. first of all.

They’re asking themselves. Rubinow: You’re right. in most of what is built. “How do we make our stuff more relevant to kids in college. Our direct customers are traders and they’re not so focused on it. I don’t have to worry. And that helps to create that impression.” Well that’s a term that we take for granted but it doesn’t make any sense anymore Yourdon: The other aspect of this generational thing that I heard a lot about from financial services industry is that the difficulty of reaching out to the consumer marketplace. Our use of them is symbolic of us trying to show that we are where the innovative people go. So it is kind of ironic that you would do that. “You know. But we do have a website and we do sell our data on the website and a few other things. So anybody who comes in and says. And we want to create an impression that we are out there. It is a cultural thing. This is probably not so relevant in your realm. NYSE Euronext efficient too. and so they can leverage whatever pleases them. because you are not marketing to college kids. And we want to make it appear contemporary and create an innovative impression. in his thirties. who would only find things out through Facebook or Twitter?” It’s a pretty big culture shock. otherwise you are not competitive. made a comment about using a Rolodex to look something up. among other reasons. In fact. “I’m a software guy.” It is not as simple as that. I said. So we do think about those things. You bring the iPads to me and maybe . but we have a niche that not everybody plays in. You actually have to think about a lot of things. just buy more memory. or buy more processors. We haven’t gotten into general mobile applications in a big way because few traders would do anything mobile (other than in the special instance of using wireless devices on the floor of the exchange) because of response times and security. Regardless of the industry we look at. we want to let people know that we are the leaders of the twenty-first century. We look around the country and see a lot of iPads around. “Let me stop you for a second. One guy here. We are just the technology supplier.94 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. Do you think someone ten years younger than you would understand what a Rolodex is?” And he said. they help guide the development of the interface. And you can be sure that the competitor down the street is thinking the same way. Someone observed the other day that they were looking for a typewriter ribbon and they used the Internet to find a typewriter ribbon. they probably wouldn’t.

all the more so in a regulated industry like yours. especially when it comes to tools. so we are exploring all of these things. Yourdon: This generational phenomenon is one that people seem to react to very differently. it takes us down another avenue of discussion in terms of collaborative technology. so that anyone who wants to be part of our network is properly segregated. working confidentially. They have an enormously long product development cycle— from ten to fifteen years to bring a newly discovered drug to market. Yourdon: I would think iPads would be interesting to trade from. and we are trying to find ways to make it feel like. and I would imagine that must be relevant to developers. Our technology group is spread out to many cities in the world. I was on that program talking about what they were terming “collective intelligence” and we touched upon this very subject. vendors. I get up in the morning and think: what do I have to do today? I look at my e-mail to see which clients are complaining. video. when you want to do things behind the firewall. Yourdon: That’s interesting because that has become one aspect of a whole collection of issues. For example. and three in Europe. and academics. This also includes customers. In my case. So it’s very exciting to hear you talk about this. and these are very conservative companies. I ran into someone who said the average college kid today has never seen Microsoft Outlook. but because of the overall perspective on how he spends his day. which clients have new tasks and deadlines. Four throughout the U. whether it be with an iPad. and so on. Ironically the best examples I have found so far are in the pharmaceutical industry. but they all participate in helping us to become smarter and do things better. “Where are my friends? What are they doing? How 95 . or collaboration tools and knowledge sharing. we are exploring all those things to try and bring the community closer together. Eli Lilly and Pfizer are examples of companies with collaboration involving people outside their firm.CIOs at Work there are applications that would be informational. but also cross the firewall. just this morning there was an Internet radio show called CIO Talk Radio. Rubinow: As a matter of fact. But a college-age kid is likely to get up in the morning and ask.S. and communicate with outsiders like former employees and customers and so on. and would be horrified if he did see it—not just because of the user interface. Rubinow: Well.

is that the most important thing to them? Maybe— I am not really sure if that should be their primary motive. People sometimes say to me. and where I see the battle particularly being played out is in the mobile device. you can’t have an Apple. will support it. in one sense it would be a great relief to say. I think it is 3M or one of the Fortune 500 companies that has made a big splash in the enterprise when their hire new university graduates and tell them. you have to use a PC. though we have not come to the point where we . say. “Here is a list of devices that are in the realm of possibilities. they like that aspect—that they have a Facebook tile and whatever else they use often that they run continuously and they are literally one click away. a nonregulated company that is not under potential attack by a lot of people from around the world trying to break in. but on the other hand. but I am sure there are other reasons Microsoft thought of that interface when they developed Outlook. Yourdon: Well. PC. We are not going to force you to have a BlackBerry. I am not sure.” My response is: the Mac is primarily a tool. newer devices versus old. but it is usually smaller. they will not work here. But we have talked about it.” Rubinow: We have talked about that here as well.” There is a certain appeal to that. they will choose a Mac. I think it is representative of a larger phenomenon. and nine times out of ten. It may be Mac vs. We will figure out your iPhone or whatever you’ve got. We would not be as freewheeling as. we are a little different from a lot of companies. or maybe they view it as symbolic of the rest of the work environment. what it would take to do that. “We have to offer our new younger employee a computer device. in combination with the vendor. “No. Pick your favorite one—go buy it and we.96 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. you have to … “X” or otherwise they will not work for you.” You often hear that. In fact the whole world revolves around that. A better solution to that is being put into Windows 8 on the desktop. from a regulatory and security standpoint. Whether they get to use a particular tool or they don’t. I think it is more symbolic with Mac users. I just want to bring up one other generational issue. “Bring whatever device you want. NYSE Euronext far away are they?” I see that kind of thing on Facebook with my nieces and nephews. but I don’t know anyone who comes to us and turns down the job because we said. With the limited number of people I have talked to that have a Windows 7 phone. I understand that perspective. If we don’t offer them a Mac. Rubinow: Well.

where we are set up and they get all the advantages of the scale that we operate and maybe some of the analytical services that we do for them today as well? So that is a big opportunity for us in our position. I am very quick to say that “cloud computing” as a concept is not something new. as opposed to the Android world that’s open. It would be the most efficient. so why have your own “server department”? They all do the same thing and instead of them all doing it separately. but something that other people remember from the sixties as time sharing. and that may turn out to be very scary. or whatever technology would comprise it to our customers. “Go ahead. and I started off by asking what are some of the new trends influencing industry? Mobile. they are all looking for a better solution. why don’t they have a firm like us do it for them in a cloud. more efficient storage—and in some cases we are impressed and in other areas we are disappointed in the speed of the technology. Are there any other key technology trends that you see? Rubinow: Well.” The iPad is one that runs through the conversation often. virtual machines. And we make it work. we would provide it for them. A private cloud where our customers would include almost any software and infrastructure—whatever service they are looking for. One of the main enabling cloud technologies.CIOs at Work say. I don’t know if there is anything here that I would say is the “next generation” yet. Having said that. Yourdon: It’s interesting that the iPad app environment is somewhat controlled by Apple. we are particularly pushing the envelope—faster processors. We talked about how we collaborate with the larger world—we get ideas when we communicate with people. Well we have touched on “futures” here. People go and buy one. and that resonates for our customers. bigger networks. Yourdon: Virtualization is right in there with cloud. obviously. they want to be able to use it in the corporate environment. and so we have a taste of what it is like for people to bring in a device to the party and make it work. The other thing that we talked about is social networks and multimedia. I don’t know if there is anything unique. and it is cheap enough—and now that they have it. 97 . dates from that era as well. From the technical standpoint. and generational issues. Everyone needs similar infrastructure. we would like to provide cloud computing. where there is no real competitive advantage.

But in terms of dramatic changes. “Okay. . but I can’t think of anything else that is dramatic. there was one of our developers in Europe who wanted to throw out one of our software tools and replace it with a newer one.” and I don’t know that a lot has happened in that regard. I will tell you in terms of history. They are different flavors and people might have more bulletproof software as opposed to “pretty good. What do you think are the most significant IT discoveries in your career—the “defining moments”? Rubinow: Well. But the trading world operates in microseconds now. I don’t think we’ve moved light years ahead. And I said “What was your primary reason?” The response was. it is a lifetime for some of us. We have different languages.” I said. so those systems are also based on ‘old’ technology? So I guess you should throw those away too. Yourdon: The next thing I had on my list is interesting because with all this thinking about the future. the one we use was developed in the ’90s so it is old technology. more powerful interfaces. things like the advent of the Internet and the Web. different methodologies. they could not possibly be any good.98 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. I think that it is really the Internet along with more powerful interfaces. In terms of knowledge versus what people ever had before.” So I think we are always looking at the new stuff and then the old stuff. One that lends itself to virtualization quite nicely.” And I said with my typical sense of sarcasm. You would like to replace the technology because it was old. too. but it is just an extra millisecond here or there of acceptable overhead. there are a lot of things that we are still relatively primitive on. I think. I think that has changed a lot of things. We virtualize a lot of our environment in that respect. “Well. Clearly. so it’s important to eliminate unnecessary overhead. In terms of software development. but I don’t know that we are all that better off for them. And so we virtualize what we can and don’t virtualize what we can’t. NYSE Euronext Rubinow: There are two categories of applications in our world. we can all look back there on a bit of history— even if it is only 50 years for the whole industry. now let me follow this thread. some of it is robust enough that we sometime don’t appreciate the technology that has been around for a long time and has advanced over time. “Do you know many of the languages and tools we use to write most of our software were developed a long time before the ’90s.

we could take advantage of all the multi-processing options that are available to us. But if we focus on that kind of thinking and teach programmers how to do things in parallel. Because of rapid changes in information presentation technology. about software development—and they just want updated versions of the talk about things I used to talk about in the ’70s. That is something that a lot of people in our industry talk about and I don’t know how soon we will be able to accomplish that.CIOs at Work Yourdon: You brought up a good point. I 99 . processor speeds are not growing at the same rate they were. and to make up for that. as opposed to primarily letting the operating system do its best. I jump around from one hyperlink to another. and I can tell you now that I think I am an example of that. Some people will argue that it helps you to think more quickly versus the argument that is there are times you need to think deeply about a problem and spend a long time on it. you have touched on something that I think about a lot lately—the way we are thinking. but I think like that less now than before because of the information environment in which we work. Rubinow: There is something else that is kind of a “back to the future perspective. Yourdon: You have actually touched on something important there. Rubinow: Yes. It’s a little depressing that conference organizations calling people like me to give talks to the current generation. I was a chess nut. You are probably familiar with Howard Rubin. He often makes a point that in terms of development. Once upon a time I used to think like that. We see less and less of the desire to sit and think deeply about a problem and research it to a high degree. My colleagues have written a lot of books suggesting that we look for the specific solutions rather than general solutions. but the average productivity level hasn’t changed all that much.” As you know. we should have better parallel programming models. and then we can use the language that was designed to attack a similar problem 20 years ago (as in the telecom industry) and it wouldn’t be necessary to start all over again. We don’t have a lot of these models. one of the things we talk about all the time is in order to keep the ball moving at a reasonable rate in terms of performance and speed. When I was in high school. We ask where has this occurred before. some of the organizations are a hell of a lot better than they were 20 or 30 years ago.

Rubinow: You may have heard about the software that you put on your desktop that shuts off your e-mail. Yourdon: Some of that.100 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. Another concern: how do we find the best and the brightest. especially when we have so many other urgent problems to solve. It is always a big issue for us. Yourdon: Yeah. When I was looking through your file. Wow—I would have never thought of that. It forces you not to have e-mail. we are particularly attractive to people that have bad intentions. as a public spokesman for some aspect of your business? Rubinow: Yes. So security is a big issue for us. whether it is CIO Radio or keynoting in any number of conferences. I certainly do in this company. and I regret that. is age. But I don’t think it is typically an advantage. especially because of the nature of our business—there is a lot of focus on efficiency here. of course. I saw that you guys are out there in public forums quite a lot. And then the other thing is that because we are an icon of capitalism around the world. but I understand the value in someone telling OK you have enough e-mail. and so on. My mind won’t readily support the same single activity for hours. that is intriguing. and how do we keep them? How do we motivate them? How do we get peak productivity? From an economic standpoint. It is not like here in the office. Let’s see. Do you see a growing role for CIOs in general. I would lose all track of time. Rubinow: Ha. NYSE Euronext was very competitive and I could sit at a chess board for hours. but people outside. Yourdon: Actually you have just reminded me of a question. what next on my list? What about problems and issues that you worry about? Rubinow: We are always trying to be more cost-effective. I’m going to shut it off for a while so you can focus. you have to remind me. I cannot do that anymore. so you cannot be distracted. Certain people in the world know that there is this place on Wall Street and they see the big American . our business is correlated to volatility in the world because that’s when people trade more. Yourdon: It is definitely because I used to watch my sons play competitive chess and the younger boy placed second in a national championship. And clearly you are not talking to your immediate subordinates or peers.

I’m sure he is a very capable guy. Also.” So part of my job is to remind people of that—our customers. And in some cases they weren’t aware of it and. and he does a really good job of promoting Apple but it takes others as well. those people who would say. they say. Rubinow: You are absolutely right though. and our potential employees. When I tell people what we do. of course. and I explain to them why their technology might be used here. and the interesting things we can talk about together and that we can work on together. but he is not solely responsible for the iPhone or the iPod. those were the more classic companies and now there is a much larger set of “classic companies” that rely entirely on information. they see activity on the floor there. it is going out of style—we’ll surpass 40Gb in no time. what their affiliation with us means to them. 101 . Also. we get revenue from that. we never knew that.CIOs at Work flag. so I am a PR person for the company. so I have a very useful prospective that someone on the business side may not have. in some regard. “That is really amazing. another customer base that we haven’t talked about: the customers that are listed here. you would not tend to think of the CIO as the technology spokesman—but. So for all these reasons. the next one they wanted to go to was the 40Gb standard. I do that a lot. and they don’t realize how significant we really are. From my perspective. Yourdon: I was thinking simultaneously that where you have historically assumed that the spokesman for the company would be the founder or the CEO. we try and help push the industry forward. so people would do things for us that we need them to do. it might be an obvious partnership for us and then again it might not be. Here is an example: when IEEE was talking about networking standards. many of the things we do are the products and services that all of our customers will become familiar with one day—and so I can probably talk to them better than many other people in the company. Apple has all sorts of products. why don’t you guys think about 100Gb? We tried to advocate our need for technology. I find myself talking about these things. let’s use Apple as an example: I don’t know Steve Jobs. We said. “Why would I ever work here?” Many of the things we are doing are cool. our employees. I don’t talk to every company but I do talk to a lot of technology firms. with sophisticated people and sophisticated technology.

102 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. no matter what your job is. But many CIOs. and I encourage people to do that too and to take advantage of as many communication opportunities as they can. it’s probably different at Toyota than it would be at Ford or Honda. You are always trying to sell something to someone. How do you discover it and how do you do this or that?’” And so his role. and why your company is so successful. And that sort of resonated with me. is to be a spokesman or the champion of technology. and I always point this out to people. One is communication skills. from that perspective. NYSE Euronext Yourdon: Well. It is not enough to sit back and say “I am brilliant” and everyone will recognize you’re brilliant. You’ve got to make it happen. Yourdon: My wife suggested an interesting example to me: So many of the problems and recalls we’ve been hearing about lately in the auto industry seem to involve software. Rubinow: The CIO is becoming more prominent in the highest levels of the corporation. too. it is critical for me to keep on top of it. People ask who had the greatest influence on my career. Rubinow: This is my philosophy. how was the whole thing handled by the CIO? Whatever that story is. but also how you screwed up with its use of IT in its products or services. They focus more on communicating then they ever did before. primarily because he told me. And so you often wonder. “A lot of our customers come to us and say ‘You’re a big company and presumably you know stuff about IT. the CIO of Microsoft said something interesting to me— he said. So I thought about communication skills since a really young age. how would that problem have been created in the first place? And second of all. were a developer at one time and now they’re an administrator. you are always a salesman. who found the problem? And thirdly. So many industries have an information technology emphasis and some CIOs are so prominent that he or she is going to be the spokesperson for one of the most important growing parts of the business. with different CIOs? First of all. too often. I say the first thing that pops into my head is my father. how would that be handled in different IT organizations. We talk about two things that I like to get people focused on. So it points out that the CIO not only has to explain to the media the good things that are done. . The other thing is that you never get too far away from your technology.

Because I knew the direction I was headed. I would do that too.CIOs at Work I know one CIO from another firm and when I talked to him. “Wow. an even better technologist—but I also wanted to understand what business was all about. I tried to get myself exposed to as many situations as possible. without hesitation. I have people who think about those things for me. But I wanted to make sure I was more well-rounded and on top of that. but in the earlier part of my career. he is usually right. So I try not to get too far from technology either. And I would go further: I don’t want to say that someone that has been at the same company for decades is limited. so I will go with him. and there are many different aspects of a business. And he said. and like people 103 . Yourdon: Would you emphasize the whole multi-disciplinary approach? That seems to be consistent with your career and what you have seen elsewhere. I wanted to develop more and understand things better. what they are going to end up doing is that everyone around you will be smart and give you conflicting recommendations and ideas and all types of things. I would probably never write an operating system. I asked him his opinion about technology. “I don’t have to think about it anymore. we all know that technology can be very challenging and you have to have a seat at the table. Otherwise. but I always used computers as an essential tool. Technology is always important. I am a voracious reader and I think in order to be an effective CIO you really have to comprehend a lot of technology. I always liked the idea. although I can do that with some things. and if I don’t have an appreciation for what they are trying to decide and help them come to some conclusion. It doesn’t mean that you can always tell what qualifies one project as a success and the other as a false start. or write a network protocol on the job. That is the culture of things we are talking about. I try to stay close to the work going on. I think that there are many computer specialties. I got my degree in chemistry.” I often find myself with two smart people. so I started taking classes in computer science.” And I said. Rubinow: Yes. then I just have to say. one says we should go right and one says we should go left. It worked for me and I think I would encourage people to have as many different perspectives as you can have because it also helps to bring fresh ideas to things that need freshening up. well you know.

Rubinow: And you know the processes—the logic. It applies to the sciences. and I had to go across the city to a university computer room to use the technology—which was the mainframe—and I had a terminal. because they make contributions to people that are more useful as well. On the contrary.” focus too much on technology. he went back to Columbia to earn a bachelor’s degree in physics and then on to Toronto to get a master’s as well. you can take it for granted. My youngest son originally intended to study physics in college. Yourdon: Well. philosophies. “I want to do what you do. I was an outlier then. analytics—are valuable. Yourdon: Let me turn that around and ask you. There is a period of time that you can either get involved with computers or not. NYSE Euronext who have done a bunch of different things as an augmented background. Yourdon: Yes. no. And then. And it was nice to have a personal computer at home where I would program ever since then. And obviously that was not true for me when I was in high school in the 1950s. but is also applies to so many different things in my job and so. but that was not true in generations before: in every university. Rubinow: And I respect that as well. You can’t find it in a book. you don’t have to worry about being an outlier. I remember my very first programming class was when I was in eighth grade. it is really hard to take a course and say now you are an effective leader. scientific method problems solving. Rubinow: Today. about five years later. People come up and say to me. it is useful every day. you said something fascinating that will be true for every student today. I developed disciplined problem solving based on the scientific method. but ended up with a degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago. clearly you don’t use this chemistry you studied. Yourdon: On the other hand. as to what was expected. If they’re really technically smart.104 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. I envy the broad background he got along the way. and then I tell them there is this whole other thing called management and leadership. then it is a logical progression. is there one common piece of advice for people who want a career path to the CIO? Rubinow: People that come to me and say. a significant part of your arsenal of intellectual pursuits from high school onward involves computers. . actually.

but… We have had some examples of that in the last few days. in Microsoft skills? And I say it goes well beyond certifications. you have to work extra hard to find ways to tell people that I don’t think that is going to work. It is not just a difference of opinion. well what class do I need to take to become certified.” And they say to you. or being mentored. and my job was to integrate things—to develop an information architecture integrating all the relevant information of 40 divisions. say. People come up with ideas here. “But why?” I’m pretty good at making decisions and if my intuition is telling me it is a pretty bad idea. and all those sorts of things. A new job was created. And then again you can be wrong too.CIOs at Work I don’t often know the prescribed path that people take to become good at those skills. those “soft skills” differentiate CIOs from wannabe CIOs. for the following reasons. so when they recommend something to you. not everyone can be a really good leader. You may not have the oratory skills of President Obama no matter how hard you try. Yourdon: To go off in a different area. coaching. I don’t always have the answer to that. You go to them and say. it just doesn’t make any sense. I think that there is an assessment you can do with numbers and that’s the easiest tool. you may know it doesn’t make any sense. And you sometimes have to dissuade them from it if the facts don’t support it. and they hired me for it. I’m often asked. and mentoring. And that is the way it is and you have to find ways to persuade people with leadership and management because these are other people over whom you have no authority and you can’t order them to do what you want. 105 . And by the way. They need those skills to work effectively in a company. Then there are the people who become “believers. It’s acquired through experience. I impress upon people. and I interviewed for it.” or intuitively they feel something is right. Similarly. and I immediately get ten examples or changes in priority to accommodate them. “I don’t think this will work. My decision ability is good. how do you have conversations with your peers in the business units about the crazy ideas they bring to you? Rubinow: You know. and somehow they feel it has more value than it really does. I learned this more than any other place when I worked at Fidelity Investments.

I found there were many different ways. How do I get them to do go along with it? How am I going to do this?” And they said. I found persuasion. barter.106 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. “Oh don’t worry about it: the chairman wants it done. you just try it a different way. You mentioned earlier that in many businesses. Now they may have been the best automobile engineer and as a result. not always on my schedule. can we give you a list of all the things the chairman asked for? Join the club. And they said. there are people who are now up at that level who have been very successful on their way up at doing something. they often feel that that defines the company’s success. good listening skills—that is a very important skill and I notice that among people who work for me. In a way it has to do with this global issue of the CIO getting an equal seat at the table with other C-level officers.” So I said to myself.” They replied. sometimes I think that every technology department in almost every company should have their own PR function or internally rely . not everyone is going to report to me. So I go to Boston. politics. When they get frustrated and complain to me. escalation. that is not going to work—so how do I get all these guys to do what I want them to do when I can’t order them to do it? And I found many different ways. forcefulness. “Well. Yourdon: There is an aspect of that I would like to explore a little further. How in general do you think the CIO is going to be able to get the kind of influence and respect that they need to be able to operate as an equal? Rubinow: Well. too. and I got cooperation from people. but I got people to do what I wanted them to do. which is usually instrumental to the success of the company. and I go to the first meeting and present a report on another technology. I tell them. when they want that guy to do something and he just won’t do it. And that’s a good educational lesson. The practice of influence management was a very valuable lesson from this. NYSE Euronext And I said “I am not naive about these things. Here are some of the ways you might approach that. “Why would we do that? And I said. “Well. Good communications skills.” I said OK. apparently the chairman wants it.

in fact. And yet if you package the story properly. In terms of cost reduction. in terms of output. We do remind people.” Rubinow: I remember one of the managers I worked for at Fidelity on the business side. They said. said to me.CIOs at Work on skilled people to make contributions in the best possible marketing way. 107 . it is very intangible. “that activity is invisible to me. we did a report of what we’ve done over the last three years. this is really what we have done. we were aware of this. Yourdon: Well.” And I said. First. and they’re not focused on. And just a couple of weeks ago for our management committee. the things we have accomplished. Howard Rubin used to make that point a lot. We know that certain managers are skeptical.” And I said.” he said. in terms of innovations. “Yes.” We found things to do. “Show me what you’ve accomplished every month. there is an enormous amount of money being spent on stuff the senior executives couldn’t touch or feel. It is mind boggling. “By the way. it seems more often that you don’t even have the option—you are more or less thrown out. “How about quarterly?” “No. You might think about the amount of money you saved the company. “Every month …do something. you often could say. and we’ve got to find away through our activities to remind them of the value we provide. it is a great record. as if they were selling toothpaste or another consumer product. “Like what? A total redesign of our network?” “No. and we put it together because we are conscious of it every single day. but when you put it all together. how great has IT been in the last year? But when we brought them the report.” But we have to keep reminding people of our contributions. it reminded them and they were unanimous. But our management team has other things to worry about. recognizing the need that can be addressed with IT— and then being able to pull it off. Yourdon: That is a big part of the future as well.” he said. and our impact—and relying on other people to take an active role is not a good strategy.

hey. Let us learn from our experience. I didn’t know what was going on. So I think there is a sense of loyalty here. NYSE Euronext Rubinow: Well. And by the way. We tend to enjoy working with each other and understand each other. then I think there is a bit of a problem. you will not be able to advance as you want.108 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. We know we can . if you made a decision to go left when other people in your position would have said go right. You can have a really great football team where none of the players like each other. And I think people understand that. People know what to expect from them. But if you can. but technically they are very competent. there’s a problem. because we really get along well. On the other hand. Second. You don’t want to spend 12+ hours a day trying to solve a problem with people you can hardly stand. And equal commitment to each other. Thirdly. you’re going to have much better results. Yourdon: Here’s a different question: what attributes do you look for in the direct reports who are going to be part of your “CIO team”? Rubinow: I remember reading something a long time ago about a study on football teams. That is an extremely important thing. They know when to ask questions and they are on the same wave length. let’s not make the same mistake over and over again. I know that they have my back and they know that I have their back. you want to do it with people that you like. And I think that is what we have here. Also risk taking. if you make a decision and it turns out poorly. it’s hard to fault the decision maker by using hindsight. So you have to think long term. There are some people here that I have gone on hiking trips in the mountains with. And so that is an important characteristic. technical competence and all those kinds of things have a big role in making good decisions and making the right calls. the outcome becomes more predictable as a result. Then again. or need to get away from. we know what the expectations are. When times are tough. If the answer is yes. perspective—otherwise. everyone wants to see progress. One is that you can see a lot more than your immediate job—see the bigger picture. When people have the confidence that you are doing good stuff. There are several things I ask of people when they work for me. a football team that is technically good and where they also really like each other. I am not going to distance myself and say. then even if we’re not happy with the outcome. when working long hours. I ask myself and others if another skilled practitioner would have made the same decision at the same time given the same information.

there are things here. And they enjoy the personal satisfaction of accomplishment and being part of the team. I do see that. Most of the people here work a standard work week on the job. And it is rare for someone to say. but I found I was one of the hardest-working. so people are working longer hours. Yourdon: Do you think that’s true of CIOs across the board? Rubinow: I think people are not hiring. We’re global and so we need to talk to each other all hours of the night.” 109 . And when I got there. until times get better. Do you see this job as a 12-hour-per-day job? Rubinow: I am a self-admitted workaholic. and that I would survive on a diet of Diet Coke and Oreos. These are all the visions I had. even off site. I did find a lot of hard-working people. but they know I am going to be that way. but they are really available seven days a week. Yourdon: I remember after I first visited some of the companies out in Silicon Valley. “Live hard and play hard. However. Yourdon: You mentioned in that effort. And I’ll tell you—in 1998 when I went to work at a start-up in Silicon Valley. I understand that and I respect that. combined with the other points makes a really great team. and the hiring will start to peak again. They said they didn’t work late nights just because someone thinks they’re supposed to work 12 hours a day. a lot of them had the motto. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s family life but if you don’t mind it. I’m on holiday or I’m on vacation. you know it is a weekend. Dedicating yourself to the company is not a life that they need to or want to emulate. where you know that something is pending. you have professional pride. It’s also generational—they also realize that there is a life outside of work. but I understand. It is not a choice that I make.CIOs at Work count on each other. that I was going to sleep in the office at night. You will find people that work here. you would be working 12 hours a day. And that is just the nature of what we do here. because you’re part of the team. I had this image that I was going to work day and night. I don’t tell everyone. Work is part of what we do. doing more jobs. I don’t try to impose that on others. People know that I read my e-mail at two o’clock in the morning. who work really long days. involving a lot of money. the trading day. People do want to have some time at home. don’t contact me. But having said that. especially during the day. And that. so I asked some of my younger colleagues about this.

they would literally lock the office doors at five o’clock—and if the server crashed. And there are some very interesting surveys and statistics about making it work with multi-national projects. Everyone knows what they are supposed to do and I like the productivity. Sometimes we use it for entire projects. Yourdon: That leads into my last question. wherever it makes sense to use it. I like the outcome. I was thinking. though. In some countries. It’s very successful. If you have arms-length.200 people in attendance. If you go at top speed all the time. Rubinow: Agile development—I like it. that some people understand how important work is and are far too passionate about their jobs. Yourdon: On programming? Rubinow: Yeah. One of the philosophies of the “agile” approach to development is that of a “sustainable” work schedule. Yourdon: I remember hearing that in Germany. than maybe people who have grown up in a different generation—for whom work really dominated their lives. I was stunned. not about that technical but about the social aspect. They are coming up on the tenth anniversary of the Agile Manifesto. contractual relationships between vendors and customers. It definitely works in certain environments—especially when it’s already in place and the project is all inside one organization. You’re not running a sprint. then it can be more problematic. it really has a good impact on programming. So I am an advocate for all these things. labor laws have prevented people from working too much and they are realizing the benefits of that.110 Chapter 5 | Steve Rubinow: Executive Vice President and CIO. . Sometimes we use it for individual tasks. For the right application. I’m curious from your prospective what do you think about this whole movement in general. and there was somewhere near 1. like the fact that I know what we are going to do in the timeframe of a single sprint. making it work in regulated industries. you could not get into the building. too. Yourdon: I’ve been amazed by the growth of agile—I went to the last big Agile conference last year. and you have developers all over the world and it is more than 100 people. you are running a marathon. NYSE Euronext Rubinow: I think younger people are even more so that way. Rubinow: And that is the lifestyle they want. And you got to be a little more careful to pace yourself. you are going to burn out.

I think this is probably a good point for us to wrap things up. I’d really like to thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. Yourdon: Okay. 111 .CIOs at Work Rubinow: We are a little more careful with that but then again we use it where it makes sense. Rubinow: Thanks. and bring the discussion for a close.

Dr. M. For the majority of his career. and presenter at academic. he led a staff of 300 employees and was responsible for all aspects of computing and telecommunications. I am no longer the CIO for the University of Miami. while simultaneously serving as Dean of the College of Engineering from 1994–2007. He is often cited in national publications and is a senior member of IEEE. Selected as one of the “Premiere 100 IT Leaders in the World. Temares has consulted with governmental agencies. .CHAPTER 6 Lewis Temares CIO Emeritus. Lewis Temares is VP/CIO Emeritus for Information Technology and Dean Emeritus of the College of Engineering at the University of Miami.” he led the University of Miami IT Department to place in the top ten of Computerworld’s “Best Places to Work” for eight consecutive years. business and information technology conferences. a Fellow in the American Marketing Society. Dr. including the Dell Platinum Council and Microsoft Higher Education Advisory Group. author. Temares: Let me make this comment first so that we get everything straight and straightforward. and multinational organizations alike. Temares joined the University of Miami in 1980 and later became the first officially designated Chief Information Officer in higher education in the United States. private companies. and a member of multiple executive councils and advisory boards. operating with a $40 million budget. Dr. because I retired in August. A frequent keynote speaker. University of Miami Dr. a distinction only the University of Miami can claim.

You know. the VP/CIO side of me says. when you were doing this role. But I’m curious from your perspective: what is different about the CIO role in the university or academic institution than you would expect to see somewhere out there in the Fortune 500 commercial land? Temares: Well. there are a couple of things that make you unique. Yourdon: Yeah. They have tenure. when I was dean and a student came in with a 1600 on his SAT.” And the VP side of me. The sad thing which happens. I think I have somebody coming in that’s going to be way ahead of my own people and he’s going to break into my system. yes. is that we recruit faculty members who are all very smart and doctors who are all very smart—and they have individual entrepreneurial characteristics. “Yes. “as of August. could have gone on to MIT. my customer is the student. Yourdon: Interesting. Now. which is very unique. he’s at the University of Miami. We have a bunch of people who are actually very independent entrepreneurs. University of Miami Ed Yourdon: Right. because of the generation gap. worrying about security. they have research. are resistors. I looked in [a classroom] door and [noticed a faculty member] writing on the . we said. the older faculty. A student coming in has this unique role of being my customer and probably the gentleman or the woman who is most likely to raise a breach of security. Temares: So I’ll put everything with the caveat. did you have to act as a champion. and they can make the same decisions as the person who does research in the field of medicine. Let’s start with something specific: one of the things I’m obviously seeing—as I’ve kind of expected—is that all of the CIOs have some fairly universal tasks of keeping the lights on. they can do anything they want with regards to setting up a network. “Oh. just being an 18-year-old student. especially in higher education. damn.” because the new person coming in should have a new perspective and obviously have different goals. and yet I’ve got to bring them all together to share in the network and share in the mission so hopefully everything that they all do will meet standards. So that is a very unique characteristic that we have in education. for using more computers and technology in the classroom itself—which I can imagine some faculty would resist? Temares: Well some people are. I do know that. they have everything. they have funding. he could have gone on to Carnegie-Mellon.” So. so to speak. very succinctly to himself. and so on. First of all.114 Chapter 6 | Lewis Temares: CIO Emeritus. I thought of bringing computers into the classroom for a long time and I can give an instance of something that happened. my customer is also one of my most dangerous security risks. you know.

as a senior faculty member. one third of your doctors who are indifferent. I think it really didn’t help because. “I’ve got a couple of questions here. You see. If they want to use technology. technology-savvy kids—so my question is. we’re not a corporation that has to communicate something it wants to get out to its customers. So the new recruit that comes in has to work towards it and is expecting things that are not necessarily available at the firm that they’re coming into. you’re dealing with a bunch of people that truly grew up with computers that are attached to them. It has to be totally accurate ’cause the stuff on there is not reviewed and not verified. is that paper yellow from age or is that new paper?” And I didn’t score many points. You could have sent them notes in the mail. and is going to be forced to deal with. it depends on the faculty member. and now you’re learning from them—and social media is another example. I knew enough about mobile technology and the need to have wireless for my campus long before people knew about having to have wireless computers for their workplace—mainly because I’m dealing with students there on the leading edge. they think that we have to communicate differently with homework. And they could have had them available and learning for the first time in front of you. I mean. They’re 115 . a much denser population of these New-Age. One. Some grasp it immediately. a university like yours is likely to see. … I said to him afterwards. what advice do you have for the CIOs of various other companies that are likely to be hiring them as soon as they get out of your university? Temares: Well. Now you raised an issue that was my second question for you. Using social media. that kind of thing. you cannot tell them how to teach. There’s one third of your doctors who are really excited. And the big thing is keeping the one third “indifferent” away from the one third “opposed” so you can get it in. Yourdon: Interesting. interesting.CIOs at Work whiteboard from yellow notepaper. fine. and one third of your doctors who are opposed. And. and it is kind of an obvious one. which they do. See. So you can verify something or not verify something—just between an encyclopedia and Wikipedia. The same thing happened with the doctors putting in an electronic hospital record right now. secondly. but I made my point. And yet I have a young faculty member who was teaching English and teaching how to do research and immediately went to the computer and showed them how to use the Web and showed the students that they can’t trust the Web. one of the things that’s good about these kinds of students is that they teach you what’s the next step in technology. So. Obviously. Some don’t. did you notice those devices that were with the students? Those are called computers.

whatever they’re doing with our mobile phone apps. that kind of leads me into the next area: what are some of the key technology trends that you see shaping the next few years? I mean. but do you see other things coming along that we should be watching? Temares: Mobility. And so if you want to get to your customer.116 Chapter 6 | Lewis Temares: CIO Emeritus. you know. I certainly agree with you. Yourdon: Very interesting. and in the security of computers. “You’ve got to be transparent if you want to be trusted. having watched some of this myself. it’s a non-secretive generation. Well. They feel nothing about exposing themselves on Facebook. it’s going to be a marketing effort of trying to explain to people in your corporation how information technology can better sell the product or can better reduce the less cost of a product. and that’s a whole different environment for us in the computer field. I was just reading some details about a speech the CIO of Delta gave at some computer conference. your Apple device. obviously. More and more it’s going to be a checklist of how you’re going to use the technology. So they want more and more video entertainment. Aside from mobile. getting into the executive suite.” because they communicate what we (the previous generation) used to consider private information. or you want to get information out. It’s a totally different culture. This generation just talks and talks about people freely. you know. More and more. you’ve got to use a mobile video device. this is TMI [too much information]. Everybody’s going to want video mobile.” and so I think that’s how business has got to look at it. Yourdon: Yeah. You know. it’s a different kind of lifestyle. University of Miami expecting to be able to use the social media. They’re down to three seconds. I was interviewing the CIO of the New York Stock Exchange. this generation. saying that. You know. your RIM [Blackberry] device. Well. and she was saying similar things.” You’ve got to tell people to communicate. who was saying that maybe the . “One of the things we want to do at Delta is to be with the customer 24 hours a day. And one thing that occupies them is the picture. on Twitter—I say “exposing themselves. I used to say the students coming in had a six-second attention span. Yeah. it’s interesting: earlier this week. getting into the corporate world. We’ve always told people. Mobility is a big one. The life of a CIO. this whole generation. I mean. social media is now in front of us. Yourdon: You know. and so on. There is too much information about this generation. This generation will expose things to the school and forward it and not think twice about it. what else? Temares: It’s very simple.

For example. Yourdon: Absolutely. Well. Temares: There’s no question about it. and people forget that the phone conversation is a valuable tool as well. I agree completely. at any time. there were a lot of technologies that were very expensive and very scarce. and you add to that the GPS technology that’s everywhere you are. therefore. because of the mobility of a wireless device. not only can you answer any question. is the Google phenomenon. Wherever you are. The second time life changed was with the Internet. The second thing is the Internet. I think I would agree with all of those—although something I’m coming to appreciate just in terms of the pervasiveness. I was on e-mail in the early seventies. wherever you are. There’s no getting lost anymore if you have an intelligent phone. even if you’re out on the street. major change. all of this had to do with looking forward. What about looking back? You’ve been in the field probably almost as long as I have. The fact that any question that occurs to you about anything at all—which you would often have shrugged and ignored in the past—you now Google it. I think if anyone does not understand or become fluent in media. and. but you can also do it anywhere. even when you had computers. think 117 . what would you say have been the most significant changes or developments that you’ve seen in the field? Temares: Oh. because we had ARPANET and the Internet and things of that nature for the research networks. and the third thing is mobility. I agree completely.CIOs at Work CIO of the future has got to be the Chief Media Officer also—explaining all of this stuff. Yourdon: Yeah. Even being in the educational field. In the old days. was a major. the whole relationship between voice/data integration. there’s no question that life changed with the personal computer. and don’t forget about the advantages of voice. Temares: Absolutely. Yourdon: There’s a related issue that has occurred to me a lot: one of the things that old timers like you and I would have seen is that back in the ’60s. But the fact that the personal computer became so commercial. very restricted and very controlled. It’s been overlooked. that’s a good point. Yourdon: Yeah. And it’s a lot quicker in a lot of ways than detail work. particularly with students. You don’t have to go to a library to look it up. you had to get to computers and then do it on your own. when you first had computers. And I’ll add to that. Temares: Absolutely. they can forget about it. Throughout your career.

the same way it has broken down barriers in terms of dealing with China. For example. Temares: And it changes things. So. Yourdon: Yeah. You know. we’re now dealing with anybody who asks about the university.118 Chapter 6 | Lewis Temares: CIO Emeritus. Yourdon: Good point. Would you say that’s true for universities. I think the economy is going to break that down. everywhere. trading with China. Skype is in business because they found a way to get business done and in a cheaper way. whereas we were only dealing with the admissions applications. it won’t get done. And Skype is in business. We now do a lot of things. anybody that inquires. Mobile phones are a good example of this phenomenon. Do you see any more things of that nature coming along. and yet we still live in social institutions that are trying desperately to control these things. too? Temares: Oh yeah. there’s no question that the only reason for IT’s existence is to support the business unit. Now. eventually. . It used to be we lost the inquiries. one of the things that I’ve been involved in is telemedicine. for example. they’re a future maybe. It’s going to break down the telecommunication barriers also because we’re going to have to communicate to be in business. you’re doing this on Skype. You hear a lot of talk these days about IT being a strategic weapon to enhance the business. sending them promotional information. University of Miami about mainframe computers. in terms of inquiries. for a quick response and getting information out to people who are inquiring. they’d inquire but we’d be so busy about applicants that we didn’t have time for inquiries. I’ll tell you. if it’s too expensive. Temares: And economics kills everything. We’ve got their e-mail address. So now we can go after different people. and if that’s the case. with technology. because we can do that over the Web. things that are going to become universal and free? Temares: Well. we start to send things to them—because they’re a tentative. IT supported the admissions applications: you need to have a great Web presence. And the most difficult part of telemedicine is the cost of telecommunications for processing data from Latin America—because it’s all government-controlled and their prices are absolutely ludicrous compared to what it is in various other parts of the world. And now we’ve got a lot of stuff that is essentially free and ubiquitous and pervasive. good point. they’re a possible. Yourdon: Let me move on to another category.

CIOs at Work they’re coming through the Web. now. So a faculty member may be teaching on the marine campus when in fact.” Temares: [laughter] That’s true. We can be in two places at one time. But most important of all is the way it’s changed our whole medical side. I think we were the fifth school that had all our campuses wireless. you need your high-performance computing to do other kinds of research. you’ve got to have upto-date and leading-edge technology to attract the best researchers and the best professors. 365. but three major ones that are ten miles apart. no question about it—so in addition to the network that supports the faculty members doing their individual intelligence and research and work. Temares: There was no question when it first came to my attention. engineering research. “What do you mean you don’t have split screens? You only have one screen for me to do my applications on? You know. because no matter where you go. each is like ten miles away from the other one. you used to say. architectural stuff. this has been a very frustrating area for CIOs in normal companies because they have kids coming in applying for a job who will say to them. We have five campuses. almost like an equilateral triangle. we also have to have the support in terms of the applications systems that will allow them to keep performing their administrative duties as well. And that’s what’s happening. all three campuses had to have wireless. That’s very true. so he has to have that ability to be in both places at the same time. the marine school and oceanographic sciences. We find that all the time. to have the infrastructure to reduce the cost of delivering the classroom information. All of a sudden they’re saying. Yourdon: That’s a good point. “I’ve got better computing equipment at home than the crap you want me to use in the office. “You can’t be in two places at one time. Well. The other thing is the cost. because of the mobility. Yourdon: I would imagine also. as a recruiting tool. You know. so the whole of information technology is networking. The medical school. which is basically the undergraduate and graduate school. Being an academic medical center. you had to have the connectivity that you needed to do your job. I like it. you need the high-performance computing to do your genomic research. We have to keep the network up 24 x 7.” but now we can. I’m used to working with two or three screens at one time so that I 119 . And all three campuses had to be interconnected. Obviously it reduces the cost to support the information technology. we give them back the information through the Web. he’s a biology instructor. from campus to campus. as I’m sure you know. and the main campus.

Yourdon: Interesting. For a big psychology class. is immeasurable. and that is whether IT is expected to enable entirely new things which the university simply cannot do today? Well. I mean. Now. that kind of changes the nature of the business.” I mean. how difficult it is to get there through telecommunications? It’s not the same when you can’t watch the body language. And I move one from the other. instead of criticizing them. that goes along with the whole idea of having online. in terms of the student’s interactions with another student. I had one other question in that category. The reason that private schools charge a different amount of money is not only the support they get from the government but often there’s the quality of the researcher or the instructor that they’re talking to. So there’s something to be said about the environment that’s worth working on. Berkeley has put everything onto YouTube.120 Chapter 6 | Lewis Temares: CIO Emeritus. to the resident having the experience of being in the classroom. We’ve almost gotten to the question of: can you have all telecommuting workers? When you want to do a project. That’s one of the most important things. that has changed in the CIO role. I think. or . and he’s a decent faculty member. They have essentially put all of their lectures online. Well. you can’t watch the facial motions. part of the differentiation is the faculty member. too—you get a huge interaction that you can’t get if you were doing it online. which in a sense changes the essence of a university as being a place where you have to go there for the most part to get your degree. The CIO role is more of a listener now and asking the problem of what’s going on and listening to what’s going on than the guy who’s promoting what he thinks is the future rather than watching the future appear in front of his eyes. You want to deal with the guy who writes the book rather than the guy who reads the book. what does it matter? Fine. doesn’t it? Temares: Well. you can’t watch the whole combination of what is the human interaction. you’ve got to listen to them. University of Miami can have multiple applications open at one time. The guy who writes the book is someone you can deal with. First of all. There are a couple of things that go wrong as far as I can tell. aside from laboratories and the experience of interacting with other students. the things they come up with … you know. you want to get together for something that requires bigger than individual effort. which normally has 350 students in a lecture hall. you can get a lot of your education through YouTube. And the interaction of students. let me give you somewhat of an off-the-wall example: both MIT and Berkeley are the two examples that come to mind. I certainly would agree with you. If you’re talking about a graduate course.

I think I’d be asleep in the closet. this is nuts! Yourdon: [laughing] That’s right. it’s part of the marketing. and they found a very. as time goes on. What would you say are the main problems or threats that concern your kind of IT industry and the academic environment over the next couple of years? Temares: If my number-one concern wasn’t cyber security. security. very difficult time. The answer is security. because you couldn’t move forward unless you had an answer to the question. Well. it will be an interesting area to watch. again. Who would have thought everybody would want all this information out there on Facebook? Or some idiot walks around and has. Let me switch to a different topic area. Until their identity is stolen or something else happens to them.CIOs at Work where you’re doing something with the sciences. you know. because they were paying a bunch of graduate students to be available if a student had a question. because they were charging the same for the online degree. Yourdon: Well. faculty members are the same way. you’ll have a real problem if somebody breaks in because it’s like stealing your wallet and stealing your life away. Don’t forget individual faculty 121 . one of the nice things about IT is that you can predict a little bit of the future. the same as the in-person degree. So I really think it’s a combination of you need security because more and more of the information will be available. You know. even when they’re advancements over existing things. If you’re going to have your wallet somewhere on your RIM [Blackberry] device. a related question is how do you communicate that kind of concern to the university people around you. And. but it’s virtually days that you predict. your peers and superiors. five million followers on Twitter? I mean. Temares: Oh yes. concern is always the security protection of the individual and the individual’s data. Yourdon: Okay. who doesn’t view security in the same way until they get burned. So I think the biggest. security—and especially with the new generation. They ran into some very big difficulties. my biggest. of problems and concerns and issues. I think. as well as the customers right outside—which would be your students—and then the people outside the university firewall? Temares: It’s really like a losing campaign. because they really are just too open and they don’t appreciate the level of security that’s necessary to survive in our domain. You can’t predict more of the future. Stanford turned their lecture-hall engineering degree all online. because the things that come out are just overwhelmingly incredible. I think it does matter.

Think about it. So we literally pay for our faculty members to leave us. publicizing when you have meetings—it goes along with all my other desires to publicize what IT can do and can’t do. And offer him graduate assistants or whatever. they offer more salary and hire them away from us. given that state of affairs. I’ll meet with the people in terms of the research council. or I’ll meet with the various people of the faculty senate. your Stanfords. getting out on the road. But guess what? A guy who’s got exciting things at MIT will get a job offer from Carnegie-Mellon that will probably give a 30 percent pay raise or a 40 percent pay raise because of the uniqueness … they wanted to bring him. your MITs. how do you go about communicating the need for more security and maybe a little more privacy? Temares: You try to educate them by publicizing leaks. “Really? We can do that?” I have to say to them. they’ve accomplished. and then he can go out and get another job somewhere else for more. Well. That’s what we’re here for. They’ll give you an awesome look like.” And people don’t even realize that this thing exists. we live in a crazy world in higher education. once you have tenure in an institution of any prestige. Yourdon: Well. they get their reputation because of the good research everybody knows they do and the exciting things that come out of them. You know. We’ll deal with them. University of Miami members are used to publishing their research and sharing everything they do. The idea is that the CIO has to get out of his ivory tower and [get] on the road. Temares: You give the person the opportunity to advance himself. So a lot of it is marketing and. the next institution you go to automatically gives you tenure. Certainly. And by the way. then. It’s virtually a given.122 Chapter 6 | Lewis Temares: CIO Emeritus. Think about this: we send people to conferences to deliver papers on all these unique things they learned. we’re the pros. just give it to us. Yourdon: [laughter] That certainly is true. as you say. because it’s a great reputation builder. Yourdon: Interesting. make the world know you. A lot of times people don’t even know what IT can provide them. So I meet with academic deans and counselors. After somebody outside sees these unique things they’ve accomplished. It’s a crazy environment. “If you have a problem with your systems or your mobility or anything of this sort. You know. show his knowledge. And “on the road” means selling IT and selling the points he wants to accomplish with IT. one of the things I’ve noticed now that I’ve been looking more closely at CIOs is how often they are out on . I think you’re right. But we do! So we want to publish.

I need. we’re always adding philanthropism. you let them know what’s available so they can make use of it.” and you know. even if they’re in another industry. your boss and the rest of the guys will be looking at you in a different way. I’m there when they need me. The second thing that you’ve got to do is market yourself and your department and your abilities internally to your organization. if you’re seen as a contributor rather than just a pain-in-the-ass cost center. you know. You create the need. It doesn’t matter because the things in their industry will move to your industry one day. You know. we always had COBOL. no. you let them know what’s going on. whether it’s servers or whether it’s hardware or software. I mean. At such-and-such a cost-per-item. I need. and that’s the way you learn things. if they have problems in the financial industry or the higher education industry. Everything has an age. go out and ask. I need more software. “Hey. “I need. but then in five years we’re going to have something that’s no longer going to be called ERP.” No. “I need more hardware. Lew Temares of the IT team was just over here and they really gave me something of benefit. That’s 20 years ago—the ’90s—or 15 years ago since the ’90s. You have to be aware of what other CIOs are running into. 123 . we always are adding new systems. it happens. How come we don’t have anything better than ERP now? It’s going to be there.” because. which means going to the conferences and talking privately with other CIOs and what problems they’re confronting. Temares: And.” Yourdon: Yeah. Then came ERP in the ’90s. you do need. It’s going to be called something else and it’s going to be better. Oh no. speaking at conferences and public gatherings and so forth—much more than I would have guessed. There are twin towers. “Would it be helpful if? Can I do this? Can I help with that?” and so on. you know. which I think is important. Yourdon: And that’s how you stay on the radar screen also. they will have the problems eventually in the retail industry and in other industries. no. Rather than just saying. you said it better than me. generally speaking. “Okay. I agree. there are two things that I have to do. no. you can’t live with five-year-old technology. or I need. by the way. You’re absolutely right. And ask them.CIOs at Work the road. Temares: And there’s nothing the matter with saying. so. I need. What makes you a revenue producer rather than a cost center? If somebody says. You know. Temares: [laughter] Exactly. one of these days they’re going to come up with something that will replace ERP. You can’t just say.

the new RIM device that’s going to be coming out is as close to a terminal as a tablet. You hope that when you say what you say you’re not spitting into the wind.” Yourdon: Well. One of the things you can use as an example is a camera. 15 pictures. IBM used to have data centers.124 Chapter 6 | Lewis Temares: CIO Emeritus. it’s host computing. it’s a lot easier for them to have that attitude in our field because the technology is a million times faster than it was when you and I were young kids. Now all of a . the. Temares: Well. that they will be open to you rather than just saying. You know. How do you communicate to the younger generation that there are a lot of things that were done before. and we’re going more and more towards a terminal concept if you think about it. “Oh. It’s going to be as close to a terminal as you’ll find. they sort of understand that. what it is. you’re just old-fashioned. there’s no difference between a client and a terminal basically. and you’re going to have your data and get your result on your console in your office. you tell them: what’s the difference between a “client” and the end of the terminal? I mean. you used to be able to do 12 pictures. you throw it and it actually sticks to the person. Well. Yourdon: Fundamentally. but yet at the same time we’ll have the ability because of the RIM device to do everything through the Internet. I have this mania about cloud computing. but really some of it … actually. Yourdon: Yeah. basically. okay. that there are a lot of lessons that can be learned without having to repeat the same mistakes and failure all over again? Temares: Are you a parent? [laughter] How do you convey adages to a younger generation? Yourdon: [laughter] Oh. We’ve had host computing since the ’70s. I mean. then 36 pictures. even including the new worker that comes in. I tell them funny things. that raises an interesting question that kind of gets us back to this generational issue. of course. You’re going to have to buy storage from a vendor so I try to tell that to the younger generation. Don’t know how much sticks and how much not. These existed way back then. Temares: It’s no different than being a parent. University of Miami Now. if you remember. because really. you’re an idiot. They really do. a good example of that is cloud computing. The hope is that they are bright enough to be as open as you are open to them. you’re right. Temares: It’s going to have very little storage. When you want to take and keep and store pictures. and then they went to 27 pictures on an entire roll of film and you thought it was incredible.

and you can hold hundreds of thousands of pictures.” Yourdon: And you can give one to every single guest at a wedding reception. you’ve got this little thing in it and it’s got 2 gigabytes. every business has old computers that they get rid of on a regular basis. I want to be a CIO. I also promote. 16 gigabytes. I mean. I always tell that person to try and get as much education as they can when they’re young. For example. the young graduating student who sees a possible career that will lead up to your role. and maybe one or two of them will be good.” What advice would you give such a person to prepare? Temares: I always. Yourdon: Ahh. which makes things happen more conveniently. You just got better technology. He says. and that is related to. their economic budgeting. Tell everybody to take pictures. I guess that’s similar. just nicer. and sometimes. It’s crazy. and a lot of times. what’s your cycle of your servers. when you relate to the simple thing. 4 gigabytes. hundreds of pictures. “Oh yeah. a generation ago. 8 gigabytes. But the same thing is happening to computers. Yourdon: That certainly is true. the quality is better. Temares: So perhaps you can get a master’s afterwards. If you’ve got an 125 . better technology. if they possibly can. and then we can throw everything away at the end and that encourages behavior that simply was not allowed. let alone encouraged. because it’s so tough to go back when they want to go back. It’s the same principle. What’s the cycle? You’ve got to put in your budget plan for the next five years what the cycle is for that replacement. every firm. Temares. It’s what your cycle of your computers. But the principle is the same: it’s a camera and it’s got a modem. every piece of equipment. if you’re going to get a bachelor’s in business administration. It’s the same principle. That’s where I’ve seen it a lot. Yourdon: Absolutely. faster. I mean. to get a combination of degrees. get a law degree or get something else other than a master’s in business afterwards. you relate to the throw away camera compared to what you do when you buy a camera and you put your memory in it and they can see. I’ve got one more generational question. everybody has a cycle now.CIOs at Work sudden. “Some day I want to be just like Dr. what’s your cycle of your everything. Temares: Listen. you’ve got this little digital device. Temares: And they always relate to the camera. say.

It’s just. the end-all. you know. If you want to come into the technical field. There’s a cost factor and one gets weighed against the other. it’s amazing. that they have to know how to market themselves and market their ideas. and. My new pitch is in project management. You have to learn to talk and present and deliver. And. People nowadays. that’s what some of them want to be—but even the chief technical officer has to talk to the boardroom sometimes. and you’re going to be viewed as just a techie and you’re going to go nowhere. Temares: Whoever’s going to make the money is the guy who knows how to market it. that’s why we have a speech class at the university. Now. has to talk to the senior management sometimes. somewhere. you have to know the difference between an income and a balance sheet. you have to have business background. You have to have some business courses. You know. The woman who’s the CIO at Delta is a concert violinist. of course. I tell students. They are really bad estimators.126 Chapter 6 | Lewis Temares: CIO Emeritus. you look like a hero. it’s a waste. unless you have the BBA. the idea is not to hit it on . Yourdon: I certainly agree with you. University of Miami engineering degree. you’re looking for your next job. and you have to know. if you estimate low and you come in high. economics. Otherwise. Twitter is one form of communication. you can’t talk to the people in the business. The CIO at Microsoft started off in the Parks and Recreation Department. But. when they do project management tend to underestimate the cost and the time. because they can’t get where they are and they can’t stay where they are unless they have communication and business skills. Think of the greatest invention in the world. So this idea of the breadth of the education and exposure to things is great. If you estimate correctly. and unless they know how to market it. You have to understand the business. you know. Temares: Somewhere in the background are communicating skills and business skills. The guy I interviewed earlier this week had a PhD in chemistry. You can’t just fit in there unless you have the MBA. It’s not the all. you can become chief technical officer. go get an MBA unless you’re going to go into pure engineering. or you have to have some criteria that gets you in there so you can understand accounting. engineering students. Yourdon: One of the things that has impressed me with the interviews I’ve done so far is just the enormous breadth of backgrounds that these people have. And that’s the other thing I tried to explain to them—that you have to learn how to communicate. and has to market their ideas. into the business world. because it’s not just technical.

they are only in that classroom for that hour. Well. of course. sure. But really what I was looking for was that person had to have the characteristics that possibly could assume my role. They all have a team. it is life and death. the idea is to always come in lower than you estimate. Let me move on to another category. So it’s all in the marketing. It’s a little different in terms of the operations in an academic medical center than it is in a normal business. I get the impression that a lot of it is pretty basic in the universal—keeping the machines on. only money. So when I was looking at the person. to the provost: this is not rocket science. I have a diverse population. some of it life and death. And so my question is: if you are assessing various candidates that might be a part of your team. One dollar more means you missed your budget. However. Temares: Sure. it’s truly —you know. Yourdon: So from your perspective in the university. I’ll say it again. they’re not solitary actors. So having them being able to perform their tasks. very important is that I try to interview to see if they fit. grad students. “Oh. One day late means you missed the timeframe. And that’s the way you can deliver it. It’s not like something that would be disastrous if we are one day late or some disorder just happens. So you don’t do yourself or your company a favor by saying. I’ll have this up in three months for $2 million. what kind of qualities and strengths do you look for in a candidate? Temares: Ahh. I was 127 . This is a lot more significant. money is important. I certainly would agree with you. ’cause I knew I was going to retire. but it really is on the administrative side. One of the things I’ve been trying to figure out is the typical responsibilities and duties that a CIO has. one of the strengths that is very. whether I make this happen or not.CIOs at Work the exact date and budget. Yourdon: Interesting.” and you actually get it up in five months and it cost you two and a half million dollars. because. what are the key responsibilities of a CIO? Or maybe you’ve already covered it in a sense. I often use the phrase on the administrative side. when you are dealing with doctors. One of the other things I’ve found in the interviews I’ve had so far is that CIOs do not act alone. One dollar fewer means you came in under budget. and. When you are dealing with faculty members who are only here a given amount of time. Temares: Well. having faculty members and researchers. and doctors. well. Two years ago I was looking for an assistant associate vice president for applications of equipment. this is not life and death. keeping the lights on. Let me give you an example. and the shuttle will go up. I hate to say it’s only money. Yourdon: Interesting.

So the attributes of the person basically have to do with [whether] they fit in with the team. like the provost or some of the other people in the academic environment. above all else. might misunderstand and feel differently about? Temares: Yeah. Our business is education and your passion in IT really becomes a passion of providing a service as best you can. so it’s very important. One last question for this area. if I’m looking at the meld of where they can go and what they do. Yourdon: That’s amazing. Temares: I’ll say. I’ve been hearing from some of the other CIOs that they find themselves surrounded by other key business leaders in their company who rose to their position because they had not only good talents. sure. but very strong opinions about the right way to do things for their business . I need somebody that’s really good at security. who may feel that it isn’t good enough because of economic reasons. That’s very true. Overall. Yourdon: Okay. particularly in the private sector— where a lot of these CIOs are saying that they themselves are putting in 12-hour days. Yourdon: It’s interesting that you should mention that because I’ve now heard that theme a couple of times. in terms of the network. So while I need a superstar maybe in terms of a tech-math. not because you think it’s acceptable to be good enough. Are there priorities for a CIO that you consider essential that other key executives. very true.128 Chapter 6 | Lewis Temares: CIO Emeritus. You know. I would say that an all-star team of the best player in every position will lose to a team that plays together regularly because as a team they play better rather than an individual effort. so the adaptability is that you have to provide “good enough” for the person and yet to have the trust of the provost and have the trust of the chief financial officer. their presentation skills. It runs into conflict because to provide the best services very often is beyond the economic means of the institution. as is everybody on their team. you know what I mean? Yourdon: Yeah. I want people that know their specialty but also display keen knowledge of their specialty by explaining their specialty and being part of the team. Temares: It’s a very difficult line to walk. And you don’t want to work 12 hours a day with people you fundamentally dislike. University of Miami assessing them in terms of their communication skills. but also to whether they could handle the day-to-day administration of the applications systems and how they communicate and deal with people. you have to have a passion.

you know. and I was telling them that they’ve got to do stuff because that’s the digital policy.” It doesn’t tell you. Yourdon: Right.” I’m telling you. So they all think they know the business better. including with faculty members. Oh no.” You see? It doesn’t tell you anything of that nature. you still have it but you don’t need your file cabinet. right. or they had to buy from a real company that was in the business of this type of computer. It’s been there forever.000 of those. It’s been used for years and years. “You have to buy a Dell piece. See. You can read it online instead of reading it on a piece of paper. Remember the TRS-80s? Yourdon: Oh. I swear to you. Whatever they used in graduate school they think they can use when they come into your environment. it stays. I want to see that paper. I want to be able to read it. And. And all sorts of diverse things are on my network.CIOs at Work —and they often don’t like to hear the CIO telling them their ideas or requests are unreasonable or impractical. and I’ve got to make sure it works on my network. 129 .” “You can still read it. yeah. I mean. It’s called document management. Temares: I’ve got 3. “You have to use a Hewlett-Packard piece. they had to buy IBM.” “Oh no. Temares: Yeah. It says you can do whatever you want. I can’t tell you how difficult it is with all these paper records the docs have. this is a conversation I’ve had innumerable times. You know the only difference between a doctor and God is that God knows he’s not a doctor? Yourdon: [laughter] I think I’ve heard variations on that one before. You’re not the first to do it. It’s anything—a university is different than a real corporation in that they’re allowed to buy and do whatever they want because they get free money. They have government research money. Temares: Government research money doesn’t tell you. Temares: The TRS-80 was very big with faculty members because they could buy it at a local store and do their own thing. to tell them. Every faculty member and doctor thinks that they know the business better. they wanted to do their TRS-80s. that’s way back to the TRS-80s. “We can scan this stuff in and then when you have a file of this stuff.

Yourdon: Really? Temares: And I grew up in the grocery store. never lie. . if it’s not good enough to tell them the truth about it. Temares: Sure. I’ve read your bio. what you did was you worked in the grocery store. Well. I thought I’d finish up by just asking a couple questions about your background. My major was statistics. and you get a variety of people with a variety of intellectual levels and a variety of economic levels. Yourdon: Interesting. by convincing them that you are transparent. It’s a real knack. it’s not good enough to do. Temares: Because you always get caught.130 Chapter 6 | Lewis Temares: CIO Emeritus. In the grocery store you learn a lot about customer service. I’d say that the experience of dealing with part-time jobs. we ought to tell people about? Temares: My father owned a grocery store. You learn a lot by dealing with that kind of environment. And I have to say. the customer’s always right. So I started on a 1620. you know. So one of the great experiences I had was dealing with retail and dealing with a variety of people face-to-face and learning you had to communicate and had to be proper and respectful. I went to the grocery store. and if you can’t tell them the right reason. Never. you can get various experience in dealing with people. never. First. it’s a real challenge. with that background. University of Miami Yourdon: Very interesting. you can’t have enough internships. I was a statistician. I had to convince somebody to buy Bumblebee tuna when they want Starkist because Bumblebee was more expensive. You have to use the knowledge that you gain by dealing with people in your later life by getting people to work together as a team. Yourdon: Ahh. but yet in a convincing way. convincing them that you are honest. When I came back home. how did you make the transition into IT? Temares: I came from the academic side in a sense because I was working at the university and I needed a computer to do my research. then you did something wrong. Yourdon: Is there anything about your background and rise to the CIO position that you feel are really unusual or unique that. you can’t have enough part-time jobs. So if I had anything to say. And after school and for the first 14 years of my life. You have to have a good reason to do something.

maybe Sam Jones is available. So what I want to do is if somebody wants to do something. “Do you know somebody that’s a candidate for CIO?” Since I’m not in the position of being a headhunter. I do that really is my company. Temares: Since I’ve retired. Yourdon: Oh. in terms of my field and then eventually what I did was I became a teacher. I said. Well. but it’s a little different. I’ll say. it’s sort of like a Facebook mentality. Temares: So I got into right away the SPSS programs. the most that people have … asked me is. I’ll give it to you.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Oh. especially in the IT industry. Temares: And one of the things we do is we give away that information for free. they need a bunch of people to get involved. Temares: I want to do things to bring people together to get things done. what’s next? You know. All right. the SAS programs. what I want to do is I want to be a rainmaker. Yourdon: Sure. Interesting.” But I don’t ask for any money for that. and those people know people. matchmaker. I know a lot of people. They’ve got a lot of contacts and a lot of ideas about what skills might fit certain situations. for exactly the same Or his current contacts. okay. and then I became an administrator. I’ve got rainmaker. Yourdon: Seems to me that that’s something that a lot of CIOs could think about. that’s what LinkedIn is all about. Yourdon: Oh. what comes after being a CIO? Temares: Listen to this idea. Let me give him a call and I’ll get back to you. a part-time teacher. Yeah. And so what I’m going to do is I’m going to. one last question for you and I think it’s perfect for you given where you are in your life right now—and that is. I saw that. I just got a site called matchmakerexecs. Ed. Yourdon: That’s true. And what I’m going to do is what I have: the greatest attribute somebody has left is his former contacts. how’s this? You know. “You know. I needed all that stuff to do my research. All my contacts—you say. Matchmakerexecs. I’m going to do a that’s what it’s all about. okay. okay. Temares: Yeah. I want to work with them to get the people involved developing. “You know somebody in the industry? You know somebody from Cisco? You know somebody from Dell? You know somebody from … wherever? Is 131 . to develop something. interesting. let’s see.

You don’t have to go to a venture capitalist. Temares: Yeah.” Yourdon: Well. which is huge. Temares: Yeah. that is one of the advantages of today’s environment. Yourdon: I think that’s true. The whole Web 2. and I need some help. Temares: You’re absolutely right. Temares: I’ll let you know in a year. I agree with you. Yourdon: That’s a big change. . I appreciate your taking the time and it was very generous of you. Listen. I would have said. “Give me three to five years and we’ll know whether we’ll do it. this has been fascinating. Ed. Temares: You’re right. Yourdon: Probably because they’ve got a lot of common problems to deal with and grapple with and it’s almost kind of a game of musical chairs also. It is whether you can know if you failed quickly or you are not. exactly. and so on. cash advances. You can fail more quickly or at least get an idea if you’re going to succeed.132 Chapter 6 | Lewis Temares: CIO Emeritus. We’re talking about thousands rather than hundreds of thousands or more. People are now financing it off their Mastercard. Now you know it very quickly. Yourdon: And you can do it at almost no cost. Ten years ago. I agree. I could go on for hours and hours. University of Miami there any possibility you can introduce me to them? Because I’ve got this great invention. That’s right. we are unsuccessful. You know. but I want to keep us within our time limit Temares: Well. I can get a sense that it’s a very clubby environment. all right. So. People are obviously moving from one place to another because the shelf life of a CIO is only a couple of years long I think. That’s the other thing. I think. Yourdon: Exactly.0 industry has that characteristic. certainly among CIOs.” Now if it ain’t made it in a year. I’ve got this great project. I’ve got this great idea. You know. I appreciate it. you know. Yourdon: Well. from the ’70s and ’80s. everybody knows everybody.

He manages a multi-disciplinary team of approximately 400 personnel to provide a number of revenue-generating. Mooney left McGraw-Hill early this year to form two endeavors. including educational gaming (GradeGuru). Mooney was also the Chief Technology . customer-facing applications within the education market. Mr. It also focuses on short-term results and the execution for longterm sustainability. The first is simulation gaming. Mr. It provides strategy and the execution for difference-making and bold initiatives. Prior to his position at McGraw-Hill. He is also a mentor and adjunct professor for Columbia University’s Executive Masters of Science in Technology Management program. There he strategically repositioned the publisher through a transformational infrastructure that enabled the use of a distribution portal and content management system. data-driven classroom prototyping (State of Indiana).CHAPTER 7 Mark Mooney Senior Vice President and CIO. a company that provides data governance and a life-long learning portal. Mooney was the Chief Information Officer and Vice President at Reed Elsevier. McGraw-Hill Education Mark Mooney is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for McGraw-Hill Education. the second.7 billion company. Connect (connect. Dr. creates new realities through the production of unprecedented results. and Acuity (formative assessment). Create (create. which allowed content providers to upload and manage their own content. where he is responsible for developing strategy and implementation capabilities for new digital products and technical infrastructure within the $2.

and it’s a gorgeous. what was your career path leading up to the CIO position? You obviously weren’t born with that title. you know. It took about 18 months. California. where he served as the first CTO in a newly structured organization with the mission to provide governance. I grew up in Ohio. But they actually started the program in the Navy and the Marine Corps— now this would have been the late ’70s—where they had two master’s programs out at the Naval Postgraduate School. I then left the military to work for General Electric. Ed Yourdon: There is a starting question that I’ve asked several CIOs now. It was right when Jack Welch was starting to take over. and then I came back to do some work mostly in black box. of course. which is. I was hired by General Electric. and execution across the enterprise. So I started my master’s at the Naval Postgraduate School in information systems. … I think from an intuitive standpoint it made sense. Yourdon: Aha. DC. but I was in Washington. Well. you went into the aerospace field. then after your government work. one being in computer science and one being in information systems. I. technical strategy. And we lived in . Mooney: Oh. gorgeous part of the country. He had already taken over GE. I had to study while I was there… Yourdon: Aha! [laughter] I guess that changes one’s attitude. And I thought. as I recall. Maryland. I’ve been there. and we were part of Space Systems.134 Chapter 7 | Mark Mooney: Senior Vice President and CIO. basically. my wife loved it. this just sounds like a neat thing to do. After I graduated from the Academy. didn’t you? Mooney: Well. And we did work for primarily NSA around the Washington Beltway. which was out of Valley Forge. I went into the Marine Corps rather than the Navy because I didn’t like going to sea and thought it was much more glamorous going into the Marine Corps … which I don’t know if it was or not. Our group was relatively small. I’m surprised you were able to leave the Naval Postgraduate School. McGraw-Hill Education Officer and Vice President at Houghton Mifflin and Vivendi Universal. which is out in Monterey. and was an engineering undergrad. with the overall Valley Forge organization having about three to five thousand employees. But. and actually went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Mark Mooney: Well. NSA/CIA software development space in the military and then came out from there. It also included AI or artificial intelligence capabilities. it was interesting. So that was the first start. developing software. Irish and firstgeneration Italian immigrant.

I realized that as good as an engineer I was. So I’d pull a lot of the data. And actually. really take advantage of a field that was brand new. so what I did—I call it the Bermuda Triangle—I started going to graduate school at Johns Hopkins up in Baltimore. So there was a large opportunity to really. Paul and I developed a relationship when I started my dissertation at Hopkins. is that you need to align the deployment of technology and technology budget with the production of customer-facing and digital products—not that the back office isn’t important. what happened was. The ARPANET1 had just started to take off. I really enjoyed working with organizations and people. Yourdon: Oh yeah. which sounds a lot more exciting than it really is. Obviously it was somewhat archaic at the time. I don’t think there was much being done at the time. and all that kind of stuff. and then drove up to Baltimore to go to school either in the evenings or on the weekends. and it was right about the time that Digital [Equipment Corporation] had a large presence in Washington.CIOs at Work Annapolis. Maryland. But that was really the exposure to the hard-core systems information technology. So that was real exciting and it was 135 1 Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. Well. specifically about how technology affects organizations. drove to work in Washington. as you probably know well. So I spent the next six years working on that and did some work with a small company called Pacesetter Software out of Princeton that did a lot of work with AT&T. and what I found. I developed an acquaintance—I don’t know if you remember Paul Strassmann. So you went to places where you couldn’t talk about what you were doing. considered the precursor to the Internet. and then commuted into Washington and actually bounced around. too. Now. but they started to pick up on it. . which I think is part of the source of some of the work he’s done post-CIO with his consulting firm. Mooney: Unbelievable. but more so on the customer-facing and product development. He’s one of the people I’ve interviewed for this book. so that was before the Internet had this huge effect on what we’re doing. so I lived in Annapolis. And even then there was little work being done about how you measure the impact of technology on organizations. how you measure it. you flew in unmarked planes. the work that I did there was more in applied behavior science. And that would have been back in the ’80s. I was a Fellow at Johns Hopkins while working on my doctorate and he was doing a lot of work and actually had a database. we did a lot of “skiff” work. which is rather common sense.

And so that’s the good news. But beyond that. which is still an employee-owned legal publisher. I’ve been at four publishing firms. they all have different stories. So what would you say are the key responsibilities and activities that you have found yourself doing as a CIO? Mooney: Well. the presidents. the IT cost of implementing an ERP system was under $200 million. They all are involved in just keeping the lights on. It competes with Westlaw and LexisNexis. 18 years. . specifically in the publishing and media. moving from print to digital. But because of the huge paradigm shift—and even more so now at McGraw-Hill. They want that done. they expect us to have a dial tone much like the phone company. since a lot of your back-office legacy are fixed allocations or costs. And the last three years as we’ve gone through the recession. why don’t we move into what you’ve been doing as a CIO? I’ve interviewed about a dozen people and they all have slightly different stories. Yourdon: Interesting. at least within the existing budget. In particular. and reallocate it to the front office. but the cost was significantly more. is that we’ve been bypassed for the traditional back-office legacy—and so what we’ve tried to do is increase efficiency. that technology spend. or the electric company. Well. what the struggle has been. with the idea that we drive efficiency through using that and then take that spend. which is huge. About eight years ago. in particular. It was only supposed to cost $80 million. And then I went to Houghton Mifflin. I’ll be very candid—most of the CEOs. then. just running the internal IT engine. and we were acquired by Vivendi. and then Harcourt and Reed Elsevier—and each of these is sort of a little case study—and then obviously McGraw-Hill. the desire to have the back office keep the lights on and run the data centers was absolutely critical. when you tend to cut. they 2 Now known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology. for lack of a better phrase. The bad news is usually what happens is when there’s a budget crunch. I was at the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA)2. electricity at the wall.136 Chapter 7 | Mark Mooney: Senior Vice President and CIO. but assume that the systems will run on time and with a certain level of quality. Now sometimes technology is a necessary evil. So you’re going back almost probably 15. the business leaders don’t really care. Because of what was happening in publishing and media. McGraw-Hill Education really the foundation for the rest of the work that I was going to do as a CIO. And the biggest challenge and where we’re spending most of our time now is more in customer space and product development around the digital world of education.

The requirements for tagging content became an issue. so the editor now is responsible for the digital tagging so that you can migrate from the print to the digital or electronic media. if not thousands of editors. I’ve done that in several ways. moving into that new customer-facing product space. I was on a call yesterday. with the author doing a lot of the work that used to be done by typesetters and editors and all kinds of production people. bringing in to help speed things up. the other interesting thing about that is that there’s the technology and then there’s the whole organizational change. Mooney: So the big challenge and struggle and leadership requirements for me have been as a change agent. And what we’ve started to do. Yourdon: Aha. Yourdon: Ahh. there’s the whole effect that it has on people’s roles and responsibilities and viewpoint and it may have a significant impact on the organization. We’re talking about learning development systems for schools. Yourdon: Interesting. and that’s just the production side of creating a book. And then lastly. Obviously we have hundreds. influencing it. really forcing it. and really.CIOs at Work tend to stay and instead you cut the product and the new development and the proof of concept and those types of things. enabling it. And then we’re going on a road campaign of convincing the businesses. and their role traditionally was to actually produce the manuscript. the very first book that I wrote took two years for the publisher to turn my manuscript into a book. there are two areas where I’ve seen a lot of change where I could imagine a CIO getting very deeply involved. Mooney: Well. We started doing it in the last two years. I see. rolling up your sleeves and actually starting to do more and more hands-on development work. . for example. And currently we have probably about 9 to 12 proof of concepts going on now. It’s everything from a strategic standpoint. Sort of forecasting what’s happening in the industry. You know. really developing an innovation center around the agile development of proof of concept. And now everything’s done online. at least in the media space that I’m in. around the digital arena. 137 . . So there’s a lot of technology I would assume that you’ve been involved in. of what we’re trying to do and why it’s important. You know. with everything from publishing systems to learning management systems . having a roadmap that shows where you need to be in year three. having been an author myself for 30-odd years. One is rather mundane. I would suggest that beyond three is unrealistic because things are changing so much now.

but obviously for the Web. I’m convinced— higher ed. Yourdon: That’s an interesting area that you’ve mentioned. you can repurpose it and customize it. The shift—because of the recession. as are a lot of these systems. in particular educational publishing. I mean.138 Chapter 7 | Mark Mooney: Senior Vice President and CIO. Mooney: I would say. And it wasn’t until two to two and a half years ago during the recession that the K–12. and all that kind of technology and capability. some of the media group. by the way. “Well. iPads. “Oh. plus they have more funding traditionally. Now the good news is that throughout the media there are new companies—and everybody is really jumping into the media space and particularly education right now because they see that there’s this chaos. “Okay. and editors publish and produce a book. Number one. I was actually again on the phone in the last couple of days with two small companies.” And they would say.” And I think you had a percent of people who said. dramatic. And what they’re doing is basically taking existing content. So what happens is. we would go out to the editors and publishers—at least in the education field. it was intimidating. just because it was change. and if you use Apple … what’s happened with iTunes … and then you shift into any of the media spaces. you . For our assessments business. wait a second. we’re not done yet. that whole shift is still ongoing and the struggle for us is the large organizations. So there was that dynamic that continues to still go on. We saw what happened with the music. And even more than that. passionate shift in moving to using online technology. editors to actually publish quickly and create something now not only for print. I understand this. You know. McGraw-Hill Education Mooney: So that technology obviously is evolving dramatically. that started because it just made a heck of a lot of sense. in addition to that.” but that was relatively small. because it was more related to the technology and coding. it started in music. That’s not my pay grade. so educational publishers. has really had a huge. because of the lack of funding for textbooks. like me. but it’s completely transformed the marketplace in terms of the consumers and customers and their expectations of how they’re going to get the content. 30 years at times—and we would say. we want you to do this mundane thing of tagging HTML. there’s this void of tools to enable people like yourself as authors. and you can do it with little to no overhead in a template format online that makes it a heck of a lot easier. college started it because they tend to be somewhat more progressive as far as the use of technology. we’ve been doing this for 20. Number two. Yourdon: Interesting. because obviously not only has technology changed that authors.

Norton & Company. you can see the shift and transition taking place on planes. one’s in law school. . and I don’t know where the cutoff is.” basically it’s a type of buyer that borders on—I was going to say “Borders. We’ve always said that. In addition to that. too. but it’s also—I wouldn’t say generational.CIOs at Work probably have seen some of the material that Nicholas Carr has written— he’s got a book called The Shallows3. but it’s more… I have three children.” but I’m not sure Borders is going to be around. First of all—one’s in business school. he’s a business major at the University of Florida—hardly any of them buy textbooks. I would say that my son who’s at the University of Florida. probably about 60 to 70 percent of his courses were online. we also have a “professional. 2011. “Where should we be and what should we be dedicating to spend our time and energy?” It’s really around mobile computing. As an example. if you were to say. It’s changing within schools and other public libraries and the world of people that are there. but to also read. but obviously not as a library exists today. But to your point there’s a medium. which basically argues that because of the Internet he would never be able to read War and Peace today because he just can’t maintain that attention span. what we’re doing is providing educational content and reference content. but they’d be in their late 20s or early 30s—do not think anything of using a device and/or a mobile device to actually transact stuff. So I feel that the shift is happening. where people are actually using the Kindle and those types of devices. And I’m also an adjunct professor at Columbia University and was at George Washington University—and the students today—well. W. with the iPad and all the different devices that we have now where people that are coming up are feeling much more comfortable with the type of technology. He’s a senior. especially the trains going out to New Jersey. On the professional side and 139 3 W. Two are in grad school and one’s in undergrad at the University of Florida. Now the professors require that they do or there are supplemental products. We’re always going to have libraries. Mooney: Well. And so I think that print will always be here. And in particular. And what we’re seeing in particular is. they’re not kids. and I don’t think it necessarily has to do with age. and the youngest is in business. I think the percent is going to go down. I think what’s happening is the Internet. I take the train around New York quite a bit and you see. And I assume that that has got to have an enormous impact on publishers.

” And it was for children K through 12. you had the whole issue about organization. we never advertise on our products. One was. we’ve got to charge. and you could actually go in and provide homework. you had the whole media issue. “Okay. It started on the international side in the UK called “GradeGuru. not only into the IT Department. And there were two separate reactions. You had a bunch of things. college sales meetings. and I think that they . Since you’ve raised this generational issue—it’s on my agenda.” So it was fascinating to watch this. how are you going to make money on this? … We don’t have to sell the product. first of all. We’re not going to do it even if it’s appropriate for kids. Most of those were generationally a little bit younger. the concept.” You go to the opposite side of the room. McGraw-Hill Education our career side we provide medical reference material to doctors on handheld devices. And then other students could come in and provide homework and/or evaluations. [I’ll] tell a story: [there] was a trivia contest. advertising. and I would suggest that any CIO or anybody who stays in the old paradigm is “dead meat. You know. as an adjunct professor I get exposed to a lot of things. And part of what I do when I do presentations is I try to tell them that organizations and CIOs have got to change dramatically. it is rather dramatic. And so they would say. to one of our higher ed. We’re not sure of the business model. and now you’ve got this younger generation coming in. in every conceivable job role. and the BBC has done some significant work in Europe around the whole digital idea of educational product. I remember taking it. And through the points you could actually get rewarded in our system. so there’s that whole element of change. and they got points. What other changes or differences have you seen in terms of the expectations or assumptions of the younger generation and how they view technology? Mooney: Well. the whole business model of how to get paid. I call them the media gurus or digital divas of our organization that are comfortable—we have several people who have come from the BBC.” That’s what my sons tell me. Well. so that has transpired or started to transpire. How do you pay for these digital products? Second of all. the CIO is typically the person who’s in charge of deciding what kind of technology’s going to be used throughout an organization. and they said. The other area is the whole social media space.140 Chapter 7 | Mark Mooney: Senior Vice President and CIO. That’s an example which is occurring periodically and now it’s occurring constantly with everything that we do. Yourdon: Absolutely. it was a product that still exists from McGraw-Hill. “Well. it was good stuff. but we might as well talk about it a little bit more now. but we’ll do advertising. you had the mobile issue. but all through the organization. You know.

The bad news is while we’ll create something that at the time is rather sexy. So. So what happens is. all good stuff.000 students. something I call “soft discipline guidelines. Verification and Validation . Then it’s appropriate. really good. but at the same time developing an industrialstrength product? I’ll give you an example. called Connect—that will allow teachers and professors at a university to come in and customize their curriculum. and creating good educational products. And the first quarter or two. you’ll see a lot of times. putting things together.CIOs at Work help in that process. That’s another technique or way of agile development. people are very loyal to publishing. But then what happens is. And it crashes. it goes from the initial load of 2. 4 141 Quality assurance. we have really moved away from a traditional waterfall way of doing software development unless it’s some of the back office. when all the college students are trying to get their homework done or practice for this form of test on Monday morning with the professor. And so that’s just an example.” The new “digital divas” don’t like hard structured ways of developing software. it’s the stuff that you read about. What has enabled us to keep their attention and to satisfy some of those changes are these proofs of concepts. but there isn’t loyalty to an organization. And that skill set. that satisfies the existing requirements. You don’t have a huge amount of time for the actual development phases that enable them to create something. The things that I see differently [are].000 to actually 30 to 35. and the reason is you don’t have a large amount to spend. V&V4 area. They can do a form of assessment on a Monday morning. In the case of what we’re in. and on a Sunday evening.000 to 5. It’s different. They put it out online to the students. you build it. They’re much more agile. And what they end up doing is they like to see results quickly and with speed to delivery. Now that’s the good news. the QA. based upon the forecast that you can handle maybe a thousand or two thousand students. from a scalability and from a long-term production system—we do not provide a system that scales for the pikes of usage. obviously. which tend to be people that either came out of computer science and/or they’re coming out of some of the nontraditional curriculums. And so what we’ve struggled with is how do you get from those proof of concepts to startup dealing with the people that like to create things quickly. that’s good. Then if you take the culture within a lot of the “digital divas” that we have. exciting. You know. You figure. at about midnight. you’ve got these great salespeople that are out there selling this. is in the testing. I would suggest. We had an online system—it’s still running now.

it’s their smartphone or whatever. let alone the college space. Is that generally true in publishing companies too? Mooney: Well. which is good for the organization. And so. So again. and also satisfy the requirements and at the same time. we had a higher ed. from a corporate standpoint. and honestly they tend to be not technical in nature. a couple of years ago—it made a heck of a lot of sense for us to just transition to the iPhone.142 Chapter 7 | Mark Mooney: Senior Vice President and CIO. Having said that. number one. . what we have done both with handheld devices and hardware servers. And a good example of that is we were traditionally a BlackBerry shop. make sure that there’s a life cycle process that ensures that you produce products that are worthy of the quality that you want them to be? Yourdon: Okay. There’s probably a cluster that are. create. by doing the soft discipline and having the option of maybe two or three capabilities. where there hasn’t been a lot of background experience in these types of transactional systems to ensure that you provide a level of quality. McGraw-Hill Education And by the way. and also the use of cloud… [I]nstead of saying that there’s one device or there’s one tool that you have. it made—and this is even before the iPad. it allows them to play. college sales meeting. Most of the students in the K–12. in the state that we’re in. where everybody’s got their own thing using their own tool using different open-source capabilities in one area but not in the other. Very interesting.. publishing companies tend to be somewhat conservative. what we don’t enable is having 20 devices. The reason we do that is. were using them. We had big internal battles about how to do that. provide some level of standardization. there’s a whole dynamic of hearing back from the professors and the students. when the iPhone came out. going back to this proof-of-concept theme that I seem to continue to be on. it’s their technology. what we try to do is give either two or three alternatives and then let them work within that framework. There’s a whole dynamic of ensuring that at least within the media space. 30 vendors—which we’ve had in the past. What they can protect is the network and the data and the infrastructure and that that seems to be where they’re drawing the line between things you control and things that you are much more flexible about. Obviously. I’m convinced too that it allows them to explore. Having said that. Traditionally we have about 800 sales reps. how do you shore that up. in fact. One of the things that I’m hearing from a lot of the CIOs is that they finally have accepted the fact that they can’t really control what kind of technology today’s young workers bring into the office because. it gives them flexibility.

but I do think that there’s a level of technical expertise that is absolutely required.” it was. we paid for them. as an institution or an organization. It was the most I’ve been liked as a CIO. They had just started. but when you’re “breaking a standard. We gave the capability for them to actually do transactions using salesforce. And that is more through influence. was necessary but not as critical as it is now. The whole issue as we commonly refer to it as sitting at the table and coming across as a peer as opposed to a techie person. because I was on a panel about a year ago and we had a heated argument about this. Yourdon: [laughter] Mooney: You know. but meeting the needs of our customers. business development. And I’m curious to know what you think are the most important attributes or characteristics of people that you would have on the CIO team helping you carry out your overall mission. the whole issue of communicating and aligning the technology goals with the business goals. And maybe it’s 30 or 40 percent of the makeup. Let me circle back for just a second and ask one last question about the day-to-day job. a vertical market we were kind of conservative. I’m not a good engineer anymore. Two. you know. One of the things that has become much more clear to me after about a dozen of these interviews is that no CIO operates alone. because I’ve been so far removed. back when I started or even in the last five to ten years. He almost always has a team of people reporting to him who handle various aspects of the overall job. Mooney: Well. and it was basically placing them in front of a customer where. you have to have a level of technical skill set—and again. is the whole issue of strategy or being able to execute strategy. being able to communicate and present and provide competitive intelligence and knowledge about your marketplace that. I think in my whole career. The other 60 to 70 percent. we’re giving them a device. and they can actually take orders and place orders and look up pricing and catalog and product information.CIOs at Work And so what we did is we actually bought 100 iPhones and we enabled the e-mail capability—which doesn’t sound like a big deal. my undergrad is in engineering and I think it helps with credibility. even more so today. And traditionally the majority of our customers were using it at the same time. all on the iPhone. Yourdon: Very interesting. something about computers. Third. what we did is we were using salesforce. 143 . we have an Oracle supply management system—that’s the ERP that I made a reference to and is the foundation now of our orders. as somebody that people have to tolerate or somebody that they don’t

it will depend on how they leverage that skill set and the individual that is in that and those using the cloud: look at what happened to them as an organization. And what we found by pushing too much offshore— and we’re actually bringing it back in—specifically around the media development and digital products development. At the lower end of the career spectrum. if you look at the vice president level and the director level. So we have relationships with Tata.” And then I believe there’s a dynamic going on where they’re going back and they’re either reporting to the COOs or chief administrative or chief of staff. it has to do with who’s the CFO or who’s the COO. well. People say. even when we did the ERP.144 Chapter 7 | Mark Mooney: Senior Vice President and CIO. And the reason is because the world’s changing so fast. that where they fit. that is. you’ve got people that have the technical skill set. McGraw-Hill Education I see nuts and bolts. the same attributes that are necessary with the CIO I believe are absolutely critical at that level. in that all organizations have a high dependency on technology. As you move down through the career spectrum. HCL. and who and when they get access to people about that is critical. Now what’s happened with us—I don’t know about other industries—we pushed quite a bit of the hard-core technical development offshore. eight years ago. The problem is we have lacked the level of technical skill set residing within the organization—where the business’s knowledge. so I would even say seven. you take all the change and then you compress it within a short period of time… The example I use is with Salesforce. and it’s come up a couple of times even in the last month or two—I’m convinced that what’s happening now is the CIOs ended up reporting into the CEOs and everybody was clapping and saying. if you look at the way that the offshore companies work. the technical skill set is still absolutely critical. The answer’s yes. and influence for technical people is absolutely critical. “Well. One is to keep costs down. it’s different. Depending on the culture of the organization. but I believe that if we’re not careful as far as the role of the CIO and the impact that good CIOs can have on an organization. And I am convinced that—and this is where we got in the heated discussion—that that is not good. I mean. “We finally get a seat at the table and get some influence. is that we lost some of that technical skill set that was absolutely critical. how they fit.” and I agree with that. But does all of this apply equally well to your immediate subordinates. let alone their growth. Wipro. Now we got into a little bit of a tiff on the discussion. let alone . Two. Now it was done for a myriad of reasons. and that was a major push about six years ago. Yourdon: Interesting. the team that helps the CIO do his job? Mooney: Well. communication. too.

If there’s an issue. And part of it is to create what you’re talking about. And the question I’ve asked of the CIO is. because I’ve seen variations on that with just about all of the interviews I’ve done. but it’s for the businesses. The expectation on the systems side is that people need to be available whenever. you’re working 24/7. we’re all working 12 hours a day. for the CEOs and the executive VPs. I do leadership conferences twice a year and it’s not only for the technical people. they will bring it up sooner and that kind of thing. What about issues of trust and integrity and just being able to work well together? I’ve had several CIOs saying. The issue is. I’m finding we have little “pockets”—especially in the media groups. Now. but they do know that they want their systems up on a Monday morning or a Sunday night and not failing. how do you persuade your peers in these other business areas to either follow a technology path that you think is important or to avoid a technology path that you think is dangerous given that they do have big egos and they’re obviously very successful in their business area and at best they are peers? You certainly cannot boss them 145 . absolutely. You’re 24/7.” Do you find that important in terms of the kind of team you’ve built to help you run your job? Mooney: Well. The problem comes if you become too confident in yourself within the technology organization and don’t bridge that to the businesses. We’re very good from a balancing standpoint—we try to be good from a family balancing standpoint. Yourdon: Oh. Secondly. two things. in this economy. And I’m convinced that you have to have that skill set resident within the organization. Yourdon: [laughter] Actually. But the expectation from the front is that this is not a 9-to-5.CIOs at Work how you use Salesforce. but if people know one another really well beyond the day-to-day of just doing their work. they become proud of what they do. and so you’ve got to have a team of people who get along with each other. but what we have not done well is the testing systems integration and scalability testing. and have their egos get in the way of supporting the business and ultimately the customer. It’s an example where you need that hard-core technical skill set on-site. so the whole trust thing—it’s common sense. The “my dad is coming home at five o’clock at night” is gone. I made reference to the fact that we did pretty well on some of the proofs of concepts. So within the technical organization. “These days. they tend to be more trusting. we have been able to achieve the balancing act by being flexible and supportive to the needs of our employees. that’s a good point. if one is not careful. they don’t really care what’s happening behind the door.

but from a customer perspective. they can wear their headphones all day. not so much from a hardcore technical standpoint. So how do you meet that demand? Because it’s very. we’ve done everything—and I don’t want this to sound silly and trite—in New York we have made provisions where our employees do not have to wear ties or dress formally. he looks like a model of one of these digital media people that I made reference to. It’s sort of good news because we know the digital space and product is growing. I’m talking everything from the data center to the existing hardware that we’re using to the network. but at the same time you’re not going to catch some problems with some failures? So I said. We’ve got one individual. What are the big problems and concerns and issues that you worry about as a CIO? Mooney: We made reference to it: I’m talking infrastructure. The other issue where I’ve had significant success is you put them in front of the senior business leaders and you let them share with them the excitement about what they’re doing. We have departments within my organization. Really. and keeping up with the existing products that we have. “How do you price it? This technical product. dress the way they want. where I have found that I can create these innovation centers. The other thing is to foster innovation. And he’s so passionate about what he does. for us. And I let those pockets. McGraw-Hill Education around and give them direct orders. it’s the bandwidth and ensuring that we’re meeting the needs of the business. bandwidth.146 Chapter 7 | Mark Mooney: Senior Vice President and CIO. very hard to predict. and there’s an acknowledgment in the business that we need those innovation centers to create what we need to do. The only issue is. one in particular over in the UK. where there’s probably between ten to twenty people. Let me switch gears at this point. . I would like to talk to you about what keeps you awake at night. how do you actually deploy it?” and that type of thing. We have a small one in New York. Yourdon: Interesting. he’s up in New York. So there’s that. So how do you get them to kind of go along with your view of how technology should be used? Mooney: Well. and they basically behave differently. where there just seems to be less bureaucracy. so that’s more one of infrastructure. we need to make sure that his presentations and the involvement is limited because what he does tend to do is transition into the hard-core technical—and then what happens is we lose the senior managers and the businesses because they’re thinking more about. And how do you do that in a way that you’re not spending too much money.

that was. but we’re somewhat conservative in nature and bringing those people into that type of a culture is very difficult.000 contracts and he was barely getting along. The other area … is making sure that we keep the appropriate skill sets. Neat guy. Now that was five years ago. We can talk about the figures if you want to produce it or publish it. who used to be the chancellor. Mooney: So News Corp. they provide infrastructures for schools for wireless. the head of the schools in New York. And I would suggest that going offshore isn’t necessarily the answer to that either. So here’s a competitor. referring back to this new generation and the media divas. As a CIO I’ve worked very well in an organization creating an exchange of organizations. is creating an educational vertical. so the innovation centers— we don’t like to call them “R&D”—working with the appropriate people from the standpoint that the market is shifting so fast that we’re making sure that we can meet the market’s trends and needs. “Wait a second. I have a friend who has a small company or used to have it—he just sold it. And then the other challenge is making sure that when we do forecast that we can react quickly. And I remember the day and we were giving him $30. News Corp. So that’s one in particular and that’s more tactical. operational in nature. and I think we have some pretty good experts. Yourdon: Wow. it’s in the K–12 business. Yourdon: Yeah. So the other thing that con- 147 . I would certainly agree with that. Mooney: And that is a space because McGraw-Hill is a great company. He just sold his business for $120 million. at least as far as my perspective. never competing directly with McGraw-Hill or the educational publishers—which has made a concerted effort to go digital. our retention is good. People can’t find jobs. it’s a super organization. Making sure that we can attract them and then that we retain them and we keep them energized.CIOs at Work It’s very hard for us to forecast. And then the third would be making sure that we’re looking out into the future.000 and $40.” I found that even now that finding the good and the best people is still difficult. We’re all in the middle of a recession. that whole space. has come over and he’s working for News Corp. Basically. if you will. Mooney: And so that’s the second one. Joel Klein. Yourdon: Interesting. You say. people that are proud. The concern I have is the people that you need.. to invest significantly through mergers and acquisitions—we were caught off-guard. I’ll give another example.

and we’re getting a little bit on sort of the political side here. If you look at the way businesses do business as a result of the whole social networking side and if you go out and you watch Social Network. which I’ll share with you quickly … here in a little bit. Cloud computing has revolutionized the tech world. Now it’s interesting. but the PC. But those three in particular I’m seeing. and whether you believe that it’s here or not. 20. both technically and from a financial perspective. the Internet had a significant impact. the whole shift to the minicomputer and then you see. 30 years? Mooney: Going way back . There’s one aspect that I would think would be enormously relevant to publishers in the education world. we now live in a society where we’ve got the technology to support it but also the available time so that any of us individually can create intellectual content for the greater . social networking—those three things—that they anticipate we’re starting to get into a little bit of a bubble. You know. McGraw-Hill Education cerns me is that coming from a competitive standpoint. I hadn’t thought about the gaming aspect of it. the shift to the laptop—oh. I’ve been in discussions with the people out in Silicon Valley. and then you see what’s happened and then you look at the Middle East. Mobile devices I think will continue to have and are having a significant impact on the evolution of technology. So I think social networking will continue to have a continued significant draw. is an indication that we’re compressing a type of technology such as that. the way people learn will continue to change dramatically. What that is. It’s fascinating. how do you stay on top of the heap? Yourdon: Very interesting. What would you say are the key technology trends that have really changed the IT industry over the last 10. those types of things.148 Chapter 7 | Mark Mooney: Senior Vice President and CIO. The issue is it changes the game and rules we play by on how we use data centers. One last major area to chat with you about for five minutes or so. . Yourdon: That’s interesting. because I also have a franchise and a small business. you and I talked about this back in the day when I was in the military and the government and. that has a huge impact on the way. it’s here. at least in the education space. not only on the way we do business. They say that they’re concerned that if you talk gaming. you know. but on the rest of the world. Facebook has enabled the shift in political power in the Middle East. and what’s happened in these countries by the use of these technologies that probably didn’t even exist ten years ago. mobility. not the laptop. without telling all the stories that you well know. and if you take gaming in particular. And then what’s happened of late is you take all of that and you compress it—obviously. the movie. .

sometimes we tend to think U. they’re not production-ready-type systems.CIOs at Work good of humanity. my son was in Iraq for a year. building large data centers. we were able to reroute— 149 . Mooney: Absolutely. It was just fascinating. and I know “structure” is probably not the right word. you mentioned cloud computing also as something that you think is very important. but we can actually prototype them and show them to the businesses. And I’ll tell you why I think it’s going to New Jersey. but we actually got involved in that and started putting content on the OLPC computer. obviously. “Touch and feel this. you know. What we did. and it’s more than just business. And the idea included everything from using solar energy to help generate enough electricity for the computer and those kinds of things. domestic. The impact of technology can have to help the world. If you look at what transpired in our industry and how we behave differently. but capable of security and things like that. Something happened with the network coming out of the Marriott. you’re talking socially. I mean. Yourdon: Let’s see . so there has to be some level of structure. It was out in Phoenix. and say. generating money. Now. It enables businesses and its CIOs throughout to compress the amount of time and the amount of money that you spend on product development. so all these products that we had going back to the data center in Princeton. . Do you see that continuing on as a major trend into the future? Mooney: Absolutely. Yourdon: Right. and so your point is what is happening is the impact it’s having … worldwide. and we obviously didn’t have that ten years ago. It’s out there and free to be used. We had the sales meeting and we were using Salesforce. having been in the military. . I’ll give you another real quick story. Do you like it? Do you want to change it?” Well. I think we’re in the early stages. in Egypt or Libya or whatever.S. it’s taken off but not to the level probably that we would have wished. It allows you to fluctuate—I made reference to this little case study story about college students on Sundays— so you can scale up when you need to and back down and do it in a way that’s cost-effective. it keeps the costs down. will be very powerful. Mooney: And you know.. There was a large Marriott. I was real proud that the “one laptop per child” concept originated out of MIT Media Labs and [Nicholas] Negroponte. It will enable everyone to produce proof of concepts quicker and for less of an investment. which if you put that in a tool set in the CIO’s bag of tricks. we have large data centers. we couldn’t have access. And to your point.

5 MOUSE is a youth development organization. I want to continue to mentor. so those things become more important to me. having fun with the franchise in particular. And what I’ve enjoyed. Yourdon: Well. Number two is there’s been an entrepreneur part of me that I’ve beaten up and hidden. to hire probably about 40 people. so I want to give back. Well. supporting their academic and career success. which does not conflict with McGraw-Hill. what’s been good for me is just being able to hire people. we started a franchise. being an entrepreneur. I mean—we all sat there and looked at ourselves. Not that I haven’t. And what I mean by that is through mentoring. I have another business. but I mean more so. You know. All right. the sales reps were able to use McGraw-Hill Education well. it’s mostly in education and wellness and mostly around the technology side of the business. It’s the same people that wouldn’t have had jobs in the past. what kind of future do you see for yourself at this point? Mooney: I’ve gotten to this aspect of my life for a myriad of reasons. And independent of the fact that we’re making money. so I probably should bring things to a close. which is: where do you go from here? Now that you’ve been a CIO for a long time. “My God. We as a family have a foundation—I’m on the board of MOUSE5. One last question.” Yourdon: Interesting. I certainly appreciate this. And I really see me starting. But again. we’ve been able. in the worst recession. that’s very. So you intend to keep your hand in. All right. Yourdon: Interesting. but my time’s up.150 Chapter 7 | Mark Mooney: Senior Vice President and CIO. I really appreciate your taking the time. saying. The world’s changing. but maybe go into more of an entrepreneurial direction. probably out of my desire to create a family lifestyle. Separate from this.” . being on the business side. “that empowers underserved students to provide technology support and leadership in their schools. we could probably talk all day long about some of these things. very interesting. Mooney: Absolutely. with locations throughout the United States.

Ed Yourdon: It would be interesting to ask how you got to this position here. Educational Testing Services Daniel Wakeman is Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Educational Testing Service (ETS). a business-to-business exchange for the elastomers industry. he also is responsible for ensuring that ETS strategy and tactics are appropriately informed and influenced by information technology. where he was responsible for ensuring ETS had the needed information technologies required to be competitive and secure. he was the CIO of the Elementary and Secondary Education Strategic Business Unit. D&N Bank. hadn’t you? Dan Wakeman: No. Before that. In this capacity.S. where he is responsible for all ETS information technology assets and activity. Prior to joining ETS. Air Force. I’d been a CTO. Wakeman was the co-founder and CTO for ElastomerSolutions. he was the Director of e-Business for DuPont Dow Elastomers. Wakeman has held a number of information systems-related and business positions with Dow Chemical.CHAPTER 8 Dan Wakeman Vice President and CIO. Wakeman’s first position at ETS was that of Chief Technologist Officer (CTO). During his Now you had been a CIO previously. and the U. Yourdon: So. Previously. IBM. how did you go then from being a CTO to your current CIO position? .

so it’s very fragmented and we soon discovered that the only way to sell into those markets was with a huge. that’s what we’ve been focused on—optimizing the business model that’s been so successful here in the past and trying to really make that run as effectively as possible. Here’s this wealth of opportunities to bring to market. Wakeman: Most educational product sales are all done at the state level. I was hired as the CTO here. and it was because the model we were trying to use wasn’t really the practical one. It doesn’t fit the way we typically operate. those first few years here doing that. you’ve got a lot of constituents who have influence over decision making and the market’s enormously fragmented. and that it doesn’t work like a typical market. well connected sales force. what I was doing when I first came here was business development activities. And then for the last five years. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. but there’s not a lot beyond that that’s done at the state level. district and even the school level. Yourdon: Okay. Yourdon: Interesting. and they said. It wasn’t going to market. So. like trying to take the educational research that was being developed and wrap it with IT and bring it to market. We discovered that the fragmented sales model we were pursuing was not a good fit with what traditionally we had done very well. Educational Testing Services Wakeman: Well. we weren’t enormously successful at that. Over the past 65 years. And. the CEO was fairly new and he had brought in a lot of new people. Many of us saw this wealth of R&D that wasn’t being monetized. Wakeman: But I’ve got to tell you. which we learned. such as the GRE Board. .152 Chapter 8 | Dan Wakeman: Vice President and CIO. . this is done through RFP responses or selling to a large authorizing agency. it was a retrenchment from that to kind of a get back to the basics of what we really do. Typically. And so we tried to build one and we found out that it’s really expensive and the revenue for each sale is small. ETS has been very successful in the creation of assessments that help institutions and test takers make good decisions. with the exception of selling textbooks. Whether they’re government or union or schools or teachers or parents. Textbooks and assessments are usually done at the state level . So. there aren’t many large sales opportunities. At that time. Wakeman: In Education there are many influencers and there are many different channels as well as many barriers. initially. . “Oh my gosh.” Those of us coming from the for-profit business world didn’t really understand the complexities of the education business and how it works.

” [And the CIO replied]. During this time. That organization is still in place today and has made great strides in slenderizing our infrastructure. which I did. “No. While this started out as a part-time job. who was the CTO for DuPont. . “No. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as the CIO for the K–12 business. John Taylor. How’d you like to be the CIO for IT?” And I said . Yourdon: Hmm. 153 . then was asked to. Yourdon: That’s interesting. and I met with a lot of customers.” And he says. and researching new technologies that can benefit the company. helped with f sales. which came as somewhat of a surprise as I always viewed myself primarily as a technologist. no. Right now!” Yourdon: [laughter] Wakeman: What made the transition from the very technically oriented CTO to the more business-focused CIO was how I demonstrated a willingness as well as desire to grow and learn new non-technical skills. I had demonstrated in the CIO position in the K–12 business that I could learn the business and I could be very business-oriented. did it also involve or include your transition from CTO to CIO? Wakeman: At that time. I just told you I would like to be.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Right. . effectively managing the life cycle of our technologies. no. My transition was driven by a need to improve the Enterprise Architecture at ETS. “How’d you like to be CIO for all IT?” And I said. I have always been good at helping the business understand how IT can help them win new business or improve operational efficiency. At that time. I was not working in a typical CTO manner. “What is he talking about? Yeah. no. and sought to help the K–12 business grow. in addition to my CTO duties. Wakeman: So I ran that group for a few years. right. which in a CIO role are probably more important than technical skills alone. I was the CTO. be the CIO for the K–12 business. I really honed these skills as well as my interpersonal skills. I’m looking at him and I’m going. So was all that part of. He asked me to formally take on the job of CTO and create an Enterprise Architecture Origination (EAO). it soon became a full-time one and I relinquished my duties of CTO to a former mentor of mine. After a few years as the CIO. I was asked by the CIO at the time. “I’d really like to do that. but as you can see. ETS was about five years into an infrastructure outsourcing engagement and the CIO had come to recognize that there was no formal management for enterprise architecture.

“How are you doing security?” Yourdon: Right. Wakeman: Or. who was the CTO at DuPont and then came to work here as a consultant for many years for us.154 Chapter 8 | Dan Wakeman: Vice President and CIO.” So I think. despite the fact that the whole world of IT is changing. I worked for a CIO who came from the business side. And the problem was. He was also fairly easily persuaded to make dubious IT decisions. lead change. right? So you can go buy a Salesforce. and bring a technical perspective to business challenges. That’s sort of where you came from. One of the things that several of them have said is that in this position that you’re in now. he used to always say. there’s no doubt about it. who wanted to get their way and once he would build a trust with a certain person.” And he said. They’re going to . And I was curious as to your opinion on that. it’s very important to maintain a reasonable core of technical skills. Yourdon: Absolutely. manage technical staff. that’s interesting. you’re going to make a better decision about picking that product versus another one because you’re going to ask questions like. and the guy had had zero IT skills. Educational Testing Services Wakeman: I believe that I was offered the position of CIO because I had effectively demonstrated I had the skills to work with the business. but is it important to maintain? Wakeman: You know. how am I going to integrate it with my back-end systems?” or. “How are you doing DR [disaster recovery]?” You’re going to ask questions that the uninformed buyer won’t ask. “ and not really understand anything about how they built it or how it works. as anyone who had IT skills could see. And to be an informed buyer means you need to understand what you’re buying. “You can’t buy a product if you’re not an informed buyer. he’d believe whatever they’d say because he had no way to evaluate that on his own. There are a lot of people selling services that encapsulate a lot of the complexity of the IT processes and systems and everything. Yourdon: By vendors or just anyone? Wakeman: By vendors or IT people. then you’d better get somebody in with you that can be your informed buyer. because when I was at Dow. John Taylor. But you mentioned something just a second ago that I want to elaborate on for just a moment ’cause I’ve heard similar things from roughly half a dozen CIOs that I’ve already interviewed. So a guy who’s a very good mentor to me. was he lacked a solid understanding of the decisions he was making. He was a sales guy. But if you do understand or at least have some understanding of it. “If you don’t have the skills to understand that. key people.

and he taught me a lot about managing and leading people.” You said it was a gentleman from DuPont? Wakeman: John Taylor. I was just a young airman. he was really my first mentor.” You know. You mentioned another thing that I want to explore just a little bit also. You think you can. but then no one in those groups wants to keep doing it.CIOs at Work be asking. “Well. He was our CSC sales rep. But it was just enough to get you going. I ended up working for him for like three years and grew a tremendous amount during this time. and if it’s so easy to go buy those services now. “You know. it’s been different mentors in different areas for me. organizing and he really took an interest in helping me out quite a bit. Dilbert has that thing… Yourdon: Right. with the magic word “mentor. It was his belief in me that gave me the confidence to grow and develop. Yourdon: Is it just one or has there been a series of mentors? Wakeman: Well. And so you could call him a Friendster. when I was in the military. they might not even bother to. I really miss him. well. And another one—this is a kind of a funny one—there was this guy that at DuPont-Dow. Steve Wegrznyek who has passed away since. a vendor—you know. It works initially. 155 . you can do more. Yourdon: Aha. and then only to find out later. they’ll go and get a service. just saying. but they’re not going to ask a lot of the back-end questions like. If I go way back. And then they’ll start sending XML files and pretty soon they’ve got an unsustainable process. Yourdon: Okay. operational complexity and the lack of clear processes and costs outweigh the benefit that was originally sought. You can’t run a business that way. just those simple things. He was a great mentor to me. and the first thing they want to do is tie it in to all the back-end systems. “Are you storing my data in Ethiopia?” Yourdon: [laughter] Right. that’s good that you’ve confirmed that. Wakeman: Where is your data? They’re going to look to someone else to do that. It’s not scalable. there was a guy I worked for. does this process? Can I do this? Can I do this?” which are relevant and important questions to the business side. Over time. Wakeman: And I did quite well in the Air Force under him. What usually happens is. so he gave me a lot of confidence in myself. who was a sales guy to us. He pushed me out of my comfort zones in a way that was challenging yet rewarding. and he was a civilian.

but—he was really not a big fan of Microsoft. Yourdon: Right. And so he gave me this whole perspective that I had never had. That was his special skill. . okay. because he had a real keen insight into the IT industry. And then there is John Taylor. and John just let them have it. you could quickly determine whether the vendor. . Yourdon: [laughter] Wakeman: John remarked. and he was just a very insightful person who really has a keen awareness of IT and how to practically use it. and how they win clients.” He explained it all to them. Yourdon: Ahh. Educational Testing Services Wakeman: So I knew that. Wakeman: It’s a job. Yourdon: That’s very interesting. and how to know when you’re being bamboozled. But it’s really a big business in itself. and I knew he was trying to sell us products. What I learned from John was how to ask really good questions because that’s one thing he really did. One last question in this general area. When you’re young in IT. Wakeman: I also learned a lot about the whole IT industry from him. or somebody you’re working with. And I learned an enormous amount about how vendors work from him. You don’t know what you’re talking about. you don’t think of it that way. I learned a lot from him. to be honest with you. and they were trying to sell us all their products. And so he and I and a few others went to meet Microsoft. And they just came across like they knew it all and they understood big business. okay. Yourdon: Ahh. and he would just talk a lot about how his company sells its products and how they go to market. I don’t know if I’d call him as much a mentor as [much as] somebody who was willing to share a lot . “You guys don’t understand a thing about how big businesses work. somebody I met at DuPont. I can remember—I don’t know if I should repeat this. Wakeman: By asking the right questions. but he was a very insightful guy and he knew a lot about IT and the business of running IT.156 Chapter 8 | Dan Wakeman: Vice President and CIO. so I learned an enormous amount from him. and one I have tried for years to emulate. and we’re representing DuPont. we would just get together and talk. really knew what they were talking about and whether they could deliver. were you given any specific training? Did they send you back to get an MBA or anything of that sort? . Either before or immediately after coming into the CIO role.

guess what happened when I became CIO? I pulled this book out and I called Ellen up—she was the first one I called—and I got her at Gartner and I said. whether they’re through vendors or they’re through our own capability. 157 . communications skills and other soft skills. taught and monitored. and I thought to myself. boy. and is also responsible for Solution Design. the IT relationships managers work closely with the business units to understand the needs and requirements and convert them into demand that is captured in our Book of Work. Once the model was conceived.CIOs at Work Wakeman: Not anything specific to a CIO role. Development is a supply side function. if I ever became a CIO. We have discovered that the most challenging process is effectively managing demand into supply. okay. Wakeman: Today. Probably the most critical thing we learned during that process that really stuck is the demand-supply model. I already had an MBA. but I have many courses in leadership. the demand. So. Years before I had become CIO. knew that was available. whose job it is to build the IT services used by the supply side to satisfy demand. we launched the initiative “Getting to Great. It has worked very well as a way to understand the work we are asked to do.” So she came to ETS. We split IT into a supply-demand organization and built a process framework around that split. I attended the Gartner CIO Academy. There was a new language for everyone to learn and many new processes to be developed. Yourdon: Ahh. “Sure. I had read the book called The New CIO Leader by Marianne Broadbent and Ellen Kitzis. I have leaders that managed both the demand and supply side. interpersonal skills. We actually implemented pretty much everything that’s in here in my first couple of years here. this is what I’d do.” And she said. And then there’s Development. The supply side is responsible for providing the services. and how we supply resources to do that work. Wakeman: Working with my leadership team at the time. “Would you help me do this? I want to do what’s in your book. The plan was to take this fairly good IT organization and make it into a really great IT organization.” G2G. which was a major change initiative in and of itself. On the demand side. and had met these two at a Gartner conference. so Development straddles the line between Supply and Demand at times. and the way we’re going to do it is by following the ten-step process that’s laid out in chapters of The New CIO Leader. we went to work implementing it. Yourdon: Aha. and she worked with us to do what’s in this book. and after I became CIO.

to be the management of demand [from our business users] into supply [by our IT project teams]. that’s occasionally happened. Yourdon: That’s occasionally happened with one or two of my books. Wakeman: At ETS. but kind of creating a common mindset. but I’ve not heard other CIOs say that a critical thing in the development of their organization was creating shared values. in this case perhaps by getting everyone to read the book or— Wakeman: I must have given out hundreds of copies of the book. because to do it effectively you need to know your capacity and to match it against the demand. . as our service management framework. okay. Wakeman: Everyone had this. shared vision—and it could be accomplished either by bringing in a consultant or a book or various other things. Are you familiar with IT account reps? Yourdon: Yes. Vice President and CIO. Well. is getting the demand and supply. Yourdon: Oh. I’m delighted to say. This has led us to begin implementing ITIL version 3. you’ve also said something very interesting here that I’ve not pursued with some of the other people I’ve interviewed.158 Chapter 8 | Dan Wakeman: Yourdon: Aha. Yourdon: Yeah. okay. though I’ve seen examples of it elsewhere. I don’t know how best to put it. They work with the business to understand the needs and communicate our capabilities. Our struggle continues to this day. which took me by surprise. Educational Testing Services Wakeman: The critical role on the supply side is the BTL. And many of them sit right within the business teams and they work with them as part of the team. Well. Wakeman: Each BTL has a small staff of business analysts to help them quantify the demand. Wakeman: That business process is the most difficult—if there’s anything I’ve learned. that’s where the hardest process is. This was everywhere. Yourdon: Aha. though. that’s kind of what I was going to ask. the Business Technology Liaison plays the role of the account representative. Given that this is a formidable challenge. we looked to see how others are effectively doing this. Yourdon: Interesting.

first and foremost we’re in assessment. “We are an assessment company. but she was very influential in helping me work with that. Yourdon: Interesting.” And that became one of the business maxims. Wakeman: Another one that came out of that that’s still used widely today—and it got reworded a little bit—was.” Yourdon: Aha. 159 1 . one of the book’s authors.” was “We are an assessment company. It demonstrated that I was really interested in first focusing on what the business wanted and how I was going to ensure that IT fully supported the business. “Do what we do best and partner for the rest. And Gartner was too. so I’ve kept up with her over the years. to run those workshops. because they should be. I’m part of their EXP program. We said. if we’re going to do that. So we went from this kind of diffuse maxim. given that we were struggling with trying to say. and that’s critical and that’s important. I have a meeting coming up to revisit those and to make sure they’re still relevant. “We’re a learning company. just giving her updates on how we’ve been doing. was hired to run three workshops composed of the senior leaders of the company. It was really to get people focused on. which we do from time to time. In fact. To make sure the maxims we originally created are still our maxims. and reached outside of our core of assessment … and then we came back. Well. “We’re going to become a great organization. “No. we’ve got to do it without making errors and we have to do it well. Ellen was just such a thrill to work with.CIOs at Work Wakeman: That was the key. It was in these workshops we created the business maxims. because I was a brand-new CIO. Wakeman: Thanks to these workshops I gained some much needed credibility.” Yourdon: Okay. and here’s how we’re going to do it. One of the things that came out of that was. Wakeman: And from the business maxims we created the IT maxims.” And that became one of the business maxims. Wakeman: I wouldn’t have done that had I not read this book. valid and reliable assessments that advance quality and equity in education. so I have an account rep that I talk to every couple of weeks.” Because our mission as a company is to provide fair. Yourdon: Okay. Ellen Kitzis. right? They’re supposed to be long-lived. So how do we support that? And one of the things The CIO Leader instructs you to do is to create your business maxims.

okay. will lead to the best answer. or this whole question of how to establish a relationship of trust and working together with business peers. especially ’cause you came in and you were the new CIO on the block. Yourdon: Right. combined with mine. When it comes to the domain of business or R&D. including they think they know how to do my job better than I do. . I’m not an academic. and many of them have their own ideas about how things should be done. Wakeman: And people do tend to respect people with certain skills that they’re supposed to have. The interesting thing about working here than other companies I worked at—probably because the compan’s roots are in academia—it’s a very collaborative environment. I’m usually fairly credible. Educational Testing Services Wakeman: And he helps me if I have questions or ideas. I can go get research. Wakeman: And I’m definitely not from the R&D side of education. Yourdon: Ahh. Some of them have said. when you get into those tense situations. so you see a little bit more of that. “Here I am doing my job within the IT empire.160 Chapter 8 | Dan Wakeman: Yourdon: Hmm.” And I’m curious as to whether you ran into that. and that’s something I’ve heard in different ways from a lot of the other CIOs. I can talk to other analysts. nor do I pretend to be one. but also because they’re very strong and they have very strong ideas. Yourdon: You’ve mentioned three related things in that explanation that I want to follow up on because I’m hearing a lot of common threads in my interviews. so I’ve had to be careful to respect my peers and know when their judgment or their input. One of them was this point about being able to establish some credibility early on. I take my team every year to Gartner’s headquarters in Stanford and we pick four or five topics that we’re going to focus on. There’s no doubt there are very strong personalities that are here. and I’m pretty good at it—but obviously I’m at a peer level with other business leaders in other parts of the organization who have risen to some position of authority or power because they’re very good. Because of the jobs I had before here. but I think by building relationships with those key people first. Wakeman: Right. So that does mean there are times where we have respectful conflict We have to hash things out. you can depend on your relationships to come to the best conclusion. I was known to many of them and they respected my technical skills—so when it comes to the domain of technology. Vice President and CIO.

but it has to be done with the ability to work with and lead people. I’ve got a team of people who help me get the job done. Wakeman: That’s how I’ve done it. which I again heard from almost all the CIOs. for example. what characteristics do you look for—what are the most important characteristics for people that you want to have on your team? What is it that you prize most? Wakeman: That’s a tough one because I definitely prize their ability to execute and [have] knowledge of their domain. And the question is. Yourdon: Well. the vice presidents that run the functional centers where most of the operational work happens. And there’s the one group above that. personal integrity is very high on my list. I’ve heard that from several people. they have to be people that get along with each other and who I get along with. Yourdon: Interesting. Wakeman: Very high. Yourdon: Well. In leadership roles I seek people primarily with strong interpersonal skills that can bring people together to get things done. Wakeman: So in different roles I may look for different skills. but at the same time. There’s one group at ETS.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Aha. Wakeman: So I don’t know if I can say one thing. okay. I feel pretty good about my relationships with my business peers.” 161 .” It may have been. “I need people who are willing to work hard because with kind of the economy we’ve got. A couple of people have said. we’re all working 12 hours a day. Yourdon: One or two other characteristics I’ve heard and I’d be curious as to your feeling about them. Yourdon: Okay. It’s a combination of leadership. it leads to the next kind of related question. Not people with an excess of persona. They all say. the three who were in your meeting earlier or whoever. “You know. personal integrity and the technical—I don’t know if I’d call it technical—but domain knowledge. but people that truly care about other people and revel in the challenge of bringing out the best in those they lead. the senior VPs that are responsible for all the functional and business areas. And if you’re going to work for 12 hours a day with a group.

more than anything. Yourdon: True. And that’s what I’m evaluating you on—the decisions you make. which is a very collaborative. Judgment is very important in what I’m paying you to do. And by ‘good judgment.” Yourdon: Interesting. and they go from task to task.’ I mean judgment in how you manage your people. That’s the most important thing I need to do. that I believe will contribute to the team. and if they’re done with that meeting they move on to the next thing. and they get far more done than some people who work 12-hour days because they’re just a lot more effective and they know how to do work. So I tell this to my staff all the time: “One of the critical things you’re hired for is judgment. What would you say are the two or three top priorities that you tend to focus on? You’ve already said it’s the balancing the supply and demand side.162 Chapter 8 | Dan Wakeman: Vice President and CIO. It was a fantastic personal growth experience that has had great results. I think that what I need to do is make sure that we are delivering. and knowing what needs to be worked on and what can be not worked on. judgment in how you make decisions about what technologies and products you use. Is that kind of the general answer there? Wakeman: No. Yourdon: That’s very interesting. We have all used Gallup’s Strengths Based Leadership program to better understand and appreciate each other’s strengths. I have people here who work 8-hour days. . Yourdon: Interesting. I look for people to join the team. and they keep their meetings just to the right length. They have focus. So I’m counting on your judgment. the appropriate level of service to ensure that ETS can fulfill its mission. it’s not hours that define how much work gets done. Let me go into a couple of the more general questions. They don’t waste a lot of time. judgment in how you use your time. they get things done. They’re just very effective at managing their time and getting and prioritizing the work. Wakeman: I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes you have to work a lot of hours. A small group of us worked with a coach for a whole year. Educational Testing Services Wakeman: Absolutely. Wakeman: When you have a person with good integrity who has great judgment you have a star. Wakeman: And that’s a misconception a lot of people have. interesting. The coaching focused on how to leverage each other’s strengths to do more than we can as individuals. highly functional team that really works well together.

a teacher when they wanted to become a teacher. We explore new markets together. We’re no different than marketing. and we combine it with the other skills so that we actually get something that’s “1 + 1 = 3. We are part of the company. Even an automobile company these days is not really just making tangible widgets. reliable. We’re working together towards a common goal. they have to be done perfectly. the capabilities. And where we can take what we know that’s special and unique. we do that. Wakeman: Oh yeah. Yourdon: Some of the numbers you gave me when I was here last time were staggering in terms of the millions of tests that you process. as you know—any mistake we make in an assessment affects a person’s life and that means they might not become. 100 percent accurate score reports. we’re no different than R&D. the people. We advance the company together. Yourdon: That certainly is true. or part of the mission. And 163 . the processes and all the things we’re doing here helping ETS to fulfill its mission? And can I see a direct link between what we’re doing and the advancement of what the company’s doing. It’s a whole bunch of code flying in close formation. I don’t want IT to be viewed as having to align to a mission. you guys are in the information business. Operational excellence. you can’t find anything to describe us except people and buildings. Yourdon: And certainly. So we have to be very careful. How big a part is that for you? Wakeman: It’s a huge part. So our objectives are 100 percent on-time. Speaking of factory. and fair scores. ETS as a business is very much about packaging and selling information—those assessments or whatever. When you walk around our campus. We work together. Wakeman: It really is. we’re no different than sales. We don’t need to align with it. That’s our factory. It’s all in the intellectual property. in that what we produce has accurate. There’s no factory creating tangible widgets. Praxis. I want IT to be the mission. And that all runs through the IT engine. Whether it’s GRE.CIOs at Work Are the tools. Wakeman: We have to do them all. I want to see us as ingrained into the business as everyone else. TOEFL. one of the phrases I’ve heard quite often from some of the CIOs is that at least a part of their job is just keeping the lights on in the factory. Yourdon: But it’s more obvious that within ETS. or they might not get in the school they wanted to get into.” We’re really looking for that synergy and trying to get more than just each of us working independently towards a common goal. or the SAT. for example. We build products together.

such as a test taker getting the wrong score. Defects continue to decrease and our customers are noticing. And we track it. Yourdon: You know. one-page scorecard that defines what’s most important from a business perspective of what we do. Educational Testing Services the only way you can get there is to continually improve by learning from mistakes and making use of great quality programs such as Six Sigma. Wakeman: This has been an area of continuous focus for us and one in which we still have a lot of work to do. And by “defect-free. The standardization effort is looking not just at where can we standardize. We can settle for nothing less if we wish to serve the test takers with the level of service they expect from ETS. We use Six Sigma techniques to ensure our processes are in control. And it’s paying off. We continue to train staff in quality methods. There is a control chart for each process metric. We will not yield until we have eliminated defects that can result in severity 1 incidents. There’s no such thing as perfectly defect-free code. Wakeman: I’ll send you a copy of the scorecard. one of the big areas I have to focus on is defects in code. I introduced the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) process and the Reference Architecture over the past year.164 Chapter 8 | Dan Wakeman: Vice President and CIO. Yourdon: Right. thus the reason we are implementing the ITIL v3 process framework. it’s focused on where can we standardize that will reduce our defect rates. They actually did a best practice research note on our scorecard. defect detection. From an IT perspective. . None of the other CIOs I’ve spoken to so far have mentioned scorecards. Yourdon: Interesting. and an article that was written by Gartner about it. Great process plays a critical role as well. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Yourdon: Interesting.” we mean there are no critical defects. These are efforts to bring high-quality code that’s defect-free to production. Wakeman: We also embraced standardization in an effort to reduce complexity and reduce variation. it’s interesting you mentioned this now. We’ve reduced the number of opportunities. Wakeman: I have quite a big effort under way right now. and continual improvement techniques. We have created a scorecard to ensure we are effectively measure our progress. Wakeman: We worked really hard on getting a simple. Our goal is to have no defects that have an impact to the business.

it’s difficult to find good companies to benchmark against. But I’m intrigued that that also has now been part of the conversation that I’ve had with other CIOs. that it hasn’t been right up in the front of their radar screen. It’s one thing to have a scorecard for internal discussion. I’ve been able to bring down IT expenditures as a percentage of revenue by four percentage points over the past five years while delivering more projects and services than we have in the past. Yourdon: Okay. Yourdon: Right. Each year we strive to become more cost competitive. what are they going to charge you?” We must be competitive. There are many excellent firms out there that would like to run the IT department for ETS. we must be service oriented and we must know ETS better than anyone else as the business has many other sources of IT supply now. and so forth. which everybody’s aware of and lots of companies do. Can they reach this level of quality? And if they can. too. Wakeman: We benchmark our costs each year using two firms’ yearly benchmark studies. such as the financial industry. So I’ve been trying to bring that down. I’m always open to competition. Wakeman: Currently I find that our costs as a percentage of revenue are higher than other information intensive industries. It is my desire to be in a position where even if such a firm gains a sympathetic ear with ETS management I can say. so we look to industries that are highly information intensive. Wakeman: I don’t ever want to be in the position where it isn’t clearly visible the value we add to the organization. but also through our costs being competitive. 165 . Yourdon: Interesting. but the next obvious step is benchmarking. right. that was going to be my next question. Wakeman: And we will continue to bring this down by standardizing our systems.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Interesting. Yourdon: Yeah. processes and taking advantage of new technologies such as virtualization and cloud computing. and I have. Being in a small industry. That’s one measure of value. review. Yourdon: Well. Wakeman: Being a CIO of a big organization like mine. from a cost perspective. “Compare us to anyone. We benchmark ourselves each year. not just through quality. I want to quantify the value we add.

166 Chapter 8 | Dan Wakeman: Vice President and CIO. Now. uhh. there’s one other related thing that I had scribbled in as a question to ask you. they’ve had some pretty good meetings with other CIOs. it does emphasize this point that regardless of what industry you’re in. . Aside from metrics and quantitative benchmarking. Our objective is to change the split so more of our IT dollars go towards growth and less towards maintenance. especially in security. But I also have picked up some great ideas from the Accenture CIO board. so did Gartner. I didn’t know that. Educational Testing Services Wakeman: We also analyze how much of the revenue goes to innovation or new products. I attended a few calls on consumerization. We deal with that every day. certainly. Wakeman: Yes. such as with the Security Standards Council PCI Standards were introduced and those of us that process many credit cards were trying to figure out how to comply. O&M [operations and maintenance]. Yourdon: I’ve got a whole section of questions here on problems and issues and so forth—of which the first one was. It’s without a doubt one of the risks that keeps me up at night. what are the main problems and threats that concern you? Obviously. where we all are facing similar threats like you are. you all share a lot of common issues. And Gartner introduced me to not only their CIO. I go to a few of their events and I get in group conference calls with them. Yourdon: Interesting. the one that’s at the top of everybody’s list has been security. which is something we’re trying to do here. Wakeman: Security is a very sensitive area for us as we must ensure the integrity of our score results and the personal identifiable data maintain for our customers. but to a whole bunch of other CIOs who I got to meet and actually learn about how they’re doing consumerization in their company. How important is that in your case? Wakeman: Yes I do. one of the things that seems to be almost universal is this sense of being part of a club—the “CIO club”—so that you can ask questions. Accenture hooked me up with a bunch of people who are doing it. Yourdon: Well. There have been other examples where speaking with other CIOs has been a great benefit. as do many other CIOs. Wakeman: We do. but I do more of it through the CIO executive board. compare notes. Yourdon: Oh. I do some of it through Gartner. just sort of schmooze with your CIO buddies.

Wakeman: We participated in a security benchmarking study on how much we’re spending on security a few years ago and came back and found that we’re under-spending. Wakeman: There’s a lot of great new security technology out there. Wakeman: It is a business decision. Yourdon: Yeah.CIOs at Work Yourdon: [laughter] Wakeman: It is disconcerting to know that there are organized groups out there. And luckily using this information I was able to persuade the board and Office of the President that we should spend more money on security. We were able to increase staffing and we’re completely redesigning our network. or how much we’re spending on security. that seek to steal information or shut down a company’s ability to operate on the Internet. What are some of the new trends that you think are really going to influence your situation over the next couple of years? 167 . Wakeman: We work hard to protect the information we are entrusted with and use leading edge technologies to do so. Wakeman: His team is constantly looking for vulnerabilities and we always take care of them. really amazing what we’re doing. Yourdon: Right. to beef up my security organization. yeah. Yourdon: And I assume that’s something you share with your business peers. It’s really. because they fund how big our security budget is. That was the very next thing on my list of questions. Yourdon: Interesting. Protecting the enterprise is a balancing act between the threats we may face and the costs to protect against those threats. He has built a great team that works every day to improve our ability to protect ETS’s information assets and monitor for potential threats. and it’s going to allow us to take advantage of virtualization and cloud computing in a very secure way. And I used that as justification with the Board of Trustees and the Office of the President to get more money to staff up. very sophisticated groups. Well. Yourdon: Funny you should mention that. A few years ago I created the position of Chief Information Security Officer and was fortunate enough to staff it with an outstanding security leader. Because ultimately it is a business decision. Yourdon: Right.

This gives us the opportunity to more quickly adopt these new offerings as our transition will be a bit less painful than for those that are still saddled with a data center to contend with. That is huge. different—the storage costs. Wakeman: What really surprises me. Really. call it virtualization. I was just quoted in an article in the Wall Street Journal about this topic. why would you even want to buy these on-demand services?” I said. Educational Testing Services Wakeman: Well.168 Chapter 8 | Dan Wakeman: Vice President and CIO. Wakeman: So. yeah. call it cloud computing. where we outsourced our infrastructure nine years ago—we’re on our tenth year of that contract—we’re better prepared for that transition than others because we don’t own our data center or the staff that manage it. where they were asking me. We will have to change the way we operate to take advantage of these new offerings. This increases our ability to respond quickly to business demand while simultaneously reducing costs. Ed. I’m going to use [it] only a portion of the year. is how fast it’s happened. Wakeman: We welcome the benefit these new technologies offers us. “Well. Because if I have to buy a server and run it for a year for something. because I have . such as being able to move away from the concept of renting servers to buying infrastructure services to run our workloads only when we need them. cloud computing is really new. Now. “Well. I think for my IT organization. The ability to buy infrastructure and software as services is having a tremendously disruptive impact to the IT industry. Wakeman: And look where it is already! Yourdon: Yeah. Didn’t Amazon start this trend about five years ago? Yourdon: At most. the compute costs. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. call it private public. I know there are security concerns. But it will not be without new risks and challenges. Wakeman: Now. everything. like some of our assessment programs. I know there are other things. Yourdon: Yeah. that is an enormous change for IT because it’s going to change how we buy and use infrastructure. but you know what? You can’t be stymied by those because this is so disruptive and the costs are so big. or call it infrastructure as a service. to me. Yourdon: Right.

This whole issue of the “digital nation.CIOs at Work demand that fluctuates. Wakeman: Because—well. On and on and on. And it’s amazing how many situations there are like that. how do you see them impacting what you do here at ETS? Wakeman: Well. But that doesn’t mean they know technology. I guess the only area where I might disagree—and it may not even be significant—is the fact 169 . first. Well. And I’m telling you. okay. In terms of futures.” I said. Yourdon: Yeah. there are some people who don’t. Yourdon: That’s a good point. Wakeman: Right. Yourdon: Ahh. they know how to play a video game. it does nothing but burn up electricity. Wakeman: And I’ve got an iPad right here and I’m not a kid. They know how to program the VCR. We adopt technology just as rapidly as kids. Wakeman: There’s a whole slew of kids out there who don’t know much about technology. You know what that computing power does the rest of the year?” Yourdon: Just gathers dust. I’m going to say something that’s a little bit controversial. Christmas shopping season for most of the retail industry. “We have large scale assessment programs that happen only once a year and I need a tremendous amount of computing power. it is amazing to think about it. I’ve got a related kind of social question. there’s this sort of misconception that they’re all geniuses and we’re not. Yourdon: Yeah. Wakeman: Mm-hmm. Now. I think of the Oscars or the Olympics. You know. Yourdon: [laughter] Sure. Yeah. it is. Oh. how old are you? And you’ve got an iPhone? Yourdon: True. I don’t believe any of that Gen-Xer stuff. it’s wrong. but there are plenty of kids who don’t either.” the Gen X or Y or Z or whatever generation it is that’s grown up with computers. granted. because if you look at the demographics for adoptions of Facebook. the biggest group of adopters is the baby boomers. for example. Yourdon: Super Bowl. Wakeman: Super Bowl. I certainly agree with that.

So as long as they meet . Now it’s not as much. it still takes a conscious mental process to say. it’s not just the new people coming in. So luckily the iPhones and some of the others have encryption.” Yourdon: Aha.” and the idea is it’s a volunteer program. But the idea is. But now you’ve got not just people coming into IT but the entire workforce coming in out of university to ETS with whatever expectations or assumptions they have. “I want to use my technology and I want it to use it to do my job the way I want to do it. I’ve got people here like my boss. Well. It’s even the existing staff. but you have to follow these rules. Wakeman: Well. “I want to use a Mac. This isn’t going to stop here. they have the ability for remote wipe. I want to have an iPhone. I should Google that. Yourdon: I completely agree. Yourdon: Right. and they’ll be able to go out and get one through Verizon or AT&T. Okay. there are certain rules.” And I’ve got another group who is saying.” whereas it’s “wired” into my kids. Wakeman: Well. I don’t want to manage it. but guess what won’t be? What’s going to come next. get access to our e-mail and whatnot. it’s not just the kids: a lot of the people are just here. “You have your own phone and you want to use it. for most of them. You have to sign something that says we have the right to remote-wipe it and you have to have a firewall and you have to have it encrypted and—you know. put it on our network. we’re going to let you connect anyway. Wakeman: There has to be some security that we can control. And it’s going to keep changing faster.170 Chapter 8 | Dan Wakeman: Vice President and CIO. I’m getting it from people here.” So we’re introducing a consumerization program called “Computer Choice. I don’t want anything to do with it. and smart phones. who says. so. too.” Yourdon: Right. here’s how we’re dealing with that. We’re starting with cell phones. Wakeman: You know. There’s a certain group with business uses for cell phones that we can work with. that’s wired into them. So they’re going to be at the same disadvantage we are in just a few short years. Educational Testing Services that in my case. that they’re going to get a stipend to pay for it. “Oh. they have the ability for password lock. For some we’re just going to say. Wakeman: This is just going to keep changing. And believe me. but you’re not authorized for a stipend. “Just give me a computer.

but the scope may expand to more shared services. it’s something I read a lot about and I try to get some understanding. Wakeman: So you can see that there’s a synergy between them. too. the future IT organization is not going to be about running a data center. So the role may get a little bigger. and you do see some CIOs. Some think it’s going to disappear. it’s going to be bought as services. dreams. hopes. I’ve talked to other CIOs to get their perspective and. plans. beyond just IT. and that one’s a little more challenging—the problem is the technology’s not quite there yet. The CIO Executive Board has sure made a case that it’s all going back into the business. Wakeman: And. there is still a need for someone who is the technology leader. like Dave Kepler at Dow. Yourdon: Sure. It kind of makes sense. “Well. and you know as well as I do. He eventually rose up to be vice president of all of the services— HR and operations and quality and other similar shared service areas. in a company like ours where intellectual property and IT play a big role or like a bank. Yourdon: Ahh. who I know. I’d say. the one thing I look at is where is the role of the CIO going? Yourdon: Oh. Wakeman: So maybe some operations services or whatever. Wakeman: Anyway. BlackBerries do. It’s going to be about buying these services and packaging them in such a way that you can use them to run your business. 171 . that’s a good one. we can let them on the network. there’s really no need for a CIO. Others have said. Ahh. Yourdon: Interesting. she’s made kind of a case that the role of CIO is going to broaden out to a more service basis. Do you know Martha Heller? Yourdon: No.” So I foresee myself staying in a technology leadership role. do you have any thoughts. aspirations? Wakeman: Well. If we’re really moving to a world of buying services. The next thing we’ll introduce is Computer Choice on the laptop front. one last question—and I think it’s the perfect wrap-up question: where do you go from here? After you’ve been a CIO here for X number of years. okay. because so much of those other functions depend on IT to operate. there’s a lot of debate about where the role of the CIO is going. which seem to be almost universal across platforms. Okay.CIOs at Work those minimum constraints.

Yourdon: And that’s up to the CEO level. and that is running the whole bloody business. And you’re seeing that. Yourdon: That’s right. financial or something else where they still value IT as a core competency.172 Chapter 8 | Dan Wakeman: Vice President and CIO. where they’ve outsourced everything. yeah. Wakeman: You could. I think it would be harder for me to do it here because the CEO here really needs credibility in the education space. Yourdon: Well. Wakeman: There are a lot of CIO information-intensive positions I could see myself doing. Educational Testing Services Yourdon: Well. I think I will hit the stop button on that one. and integrating them. Innovation slows and it takes longer to get things done. . though. in a lot of businesses where they see IT as just a service they buy from someone else. which at least a couple of CIOs have done. Wakeman: And integrating them. right. Wakeman: I think if you’re in a very technology-centered business. This is why I so enjoy working for ETS. Yourdon: But the involvement in the business leads to another possible future. I believe over time many companies that do that come to regret it as they soon find that that they lost a tremendous amount in intellectual property that was locked in heads of those they dismissed. I’m not really interested in going to work for some company that doesn’t value IT as a core part of their business. if you’re in a Google or something that technology plays a very big part in where you could do that. Yourdon: Why would you? [laughter] Wakeman: Right.

development. Yourdon: Aha. In 2002. I can start you at the beginning in terms of how you got to where you are today. Lynne Ellyn: Hello. and a fellow of the Cutter Business Technology Council. Florida. I very much appreciate your taking the time. DTE Energy Lynne Ellyn is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at DTE Energy. Were there any early heroes or role models or mentors that shaped your career path and future? . Ellyn as one of the 100 Most Influential Women Business Leaders in the metropolitan Detroit area. So you’re not in Detroit. Ed Yourdon: Hi. and computer operations for all of the DTE Energy companies. She is a member of IBM’s Board of Advisors and the DTE Energy Foundation Board of Directors. Ellyn: I’m sitting outside in Ocala. as well as an appointee to the Smart Grid Advisory Committee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Lynne. a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Ellyn leads an organization of approximately 700 people who provide information technology strategy. CORP! Magazine named her as one of Michigan’s Top Business Women. the Association for Women in Computing named her as one of the Top Michigan Women in Computing. In August 2004. Crain’s Detroit Business named Ms. In 2003.CHAPTER 9 Lynne Ellyn Senior Vice President and CIO.

And that may also be true for men. And I’ve got another one. Ellyn: And I had no sisters. So. whether your experience is a common one or unique. and the organizational work. but the truth is. I’m often asked to speak to women’s groups. my grandmother. She was always in some kind of ridiculous situation. So. Yourdon: Ahh. time and time again. DTE Energy Ellyn: Well. It certainly makes sense from what you’ve said. the woman who’s the CIO of the entire UK Parliament. Ellyn: And people crack up because. and there were no professional . you know. And he was just an imminently good human being. Even in China I got these questions: What’s it like to be the only woman in the room? And the other is: Who were your mentors? And I have a smart-ass answer for both of them. I mean. I worked at Henry Ford Hospital. but the point of all this is: I found myself over the years wanting to be the kind of boss that I felt Jim was. my aunts. not only were there not any women in IT. I had four brothers. so being the only woman in the room started really early. of course. but as I encountered other people that I worked for. I came back to what an outstanding boss he was. I was too young at the time to appreciate how extraordinary he was. I’ll be curious to see whether you know. but fairly early in my career. interesting.174 Chapter 9 | Lynne Ellyn: Senior Vice President and CIO. Ellyn: Well. I think particularly for women who got into the IT field when I did. Joan Miller. and I worked for a gentleman by the name of Jim Shipley. The closest thing I had as a model of a working woman was Marlo Thomas in That Girl. all the grown-up women around me were mothers: my mother. I’ve pinned that one down. not formal mentors. I heard early about Grace Hopper. Charlene Begley. she seemed to be having a lot of fun and she was really cute. what a visionary thinker as well as a person who was just so effective with the larger system. but I never met her. Umm. she was a comedienne. And your comment about mentors is something that I need to keep in mind because I’m trying to pin down the woman who’s the CIO for General Electric at the moment. the people system. interesting. When I was growing up. it’s a joke. they never really let you know what kind of work she did. Not to say that I worked for a lot of bad human beings. but I think it was particularly true for women. So no really formal mentors. And the smart-ass answer to the mentors is. Yourdon: Ah. Yourdon: Aha. but she was independent in the sense that she had her own apartment in New York City and. and you’ll chuckle about it. there weren’t very many mentors. the neighbors.

Then I went to Xerox and from Xerox went to Netscape. Anne Mulcahey was the head of HR when I was there and Ursula Burns—I didn’t know her. the first five years were in hospitals. okay. Yourdon: And there were no women out there? Ellyn: Just to recap. was a woman. Yourdon: Well. There were . so she was. how you got your current CIO position? I mean. Now you spent an early part of your career out in Silicon Valley. I didn’t know very many women executives. And for probably the first two thirds of my career. I did. As a matter of fact. really energizing. that’s a nice segue into my next question area. umm. without going through your whole career. but only a few compared to the number of men and certainly at Xerox there were women. . but certainly was not an executive. didn’t you? Ellyn: I did. Yourdon: Oh right. how did you begin moving into more and more senior executive positions that led to a CIO title? Ellyn: The opportunities always came to me. more senior-ish product development managers who were women at Netscape. What about out in Silicon Valley? Was there also an absence of female. they were at a very large distance. Ellyn: The next ten were at Chrysler Corporation. Yourdon: Right. you know. like at Netscape. which isn’t too uncommon. The CIO at Xerox was Pat Wallington. Yourdon: Ahh. interesting work. so there was no model.CIOs at Work women. but Xerox was the first place where I encountered women with the senior kind of titles. Yourdon: Now that is very interesting. Ellyn: Where I was in advanced technology software planning and managed the artificial intelligence group. but I had met Anne a number of times—but Ursula Burns I think was in a product division. which is basically. and I did a lot of medical computing. that’s what I was 175 . . And whatever I was doing. and if I did. really strong IT managers? Ellyn: Absolutely. the chief counsel was a woman. the head of HR. umm. There were a couple. To this day it remains the organization I worked for where there were the most executive women. I can’t say that it was my intention to be a CIO. It was always my intention to do really good. certainly not somebody with a title like a senior vice president that I ever met.

including two energy trading floors. which is basically what you’re doing now. they sent five people from the company. They weren’t going to be motivating. Energy trading is like a typical trading floor. Yourdon: Okay.176 Chapter 9 | Lynne Ellyn: Senior Vice President and CIO. Yourdon: Oh. you know. They only sent a few people a year and you had to be recommended. We have rail and transportation activities. which operate all over the United States. one in Ann Arbor and one in Houston. Yourdon: Did you get any kind of specific training along the way to be a CIO? Did you go back to school to get an MBA or anything like that? Ellyn: Yes. I think it’s totally wrong. So that was just part of a general training provided to people. what would they be? I assume one is just sort of keeping an eye out for the operational area. And I let them pass. The senior executive review selected me. it’s the usual. I support all of the DTE family. So the year that I went. no. okay. So this idea that. You had to have a pretty strong advocate. that leads into the next general area of questions. Obviously. I will say that lots of opportunities showed up that I said no to because they weren’t interesting. Chrysler sent me to an executive MBA program with Michigan State when I was managing the advanced technology group. and they are very different in character. but let’s talk about the directly IT responsibilities. and the next opportunity just sort of showed up. Well. which was when Chrysler was doing pretty well. and then I have highly regulated utilities. You know. Are there major kinds of clumps of responsibilities that you have? Ellyn: Yes. . you had to be admitted to the program. So what I have is a diverse portfolio of companies. You must have tens of thousands of servers and all that stuff. You know. which is two large utilities and a number of non-regulated businesses. power and industrial. Yourdon: Right. executive people once you got to a certain level? Ellyn: No. DTE Energy focused on. So my day is spent switching hats from a mentality around startup and growth to a mentality that’s conservative and careful. you better jump on it or it’s never coming back. in the ’90s. I have three large data centers. if you had to divide your day or your general kind of work activity into three or four categories. And I was nominated twice before I was accepted. They looked like a grind. Ellyn: And they had to have a good reason to do that. no. every opportunity that comes along.

See. very different things. but first I want to make sure that I understand kind of the main thrust that you’re talking about. working with the other CIOs in our industry about what positions we’re going to take. They are so super-confident that they’re amazing. those are very. it’s right now. taken a while to build it. so that’s kind of a refinement. and God knows. the margin for error is zero. working on refinement. I suppose. but they either volunteer the best of themselves or don’t. so it’s a little bit like the symphony conductor. I would say. fascinating. the other responsibility that I take most seriously and is my fingerprint. So. really glad to show up. they are really. and then I’ll go cause mischief. so I’m spending a lot of my time on large industry issues with a lot of political overtones. you know. Sometimes I think that I need to be careful that I don’t mess it up. … I’m on the Smart Grid Advisory Committee for the next three years. the strongest director team I had ever known anywhere. not working on basics. In terms of coaching 177 . because I’m probably prone to boredom if you ask me to do something repetitive. And the last thing—and this is probably different than all the other CIOs that you’re going to encounter. is the way I manage. is the most important thing and unfortunate at this time. it is around the coaching and optimizing of the people system. don’t bother me. we’re making money here” and if you are operating the status system that controls the flow of power and gas. lobbyists. nobody would have ever accused me of being a politician. and so now I really am a coach. it’s “whatever I want. because of the nature of the utility industry and the moment in time where we find ourselves with all the smart grid and smart grid money and expansion of the grid and the cyber security threats—I spend a significant amount of my time actually talking to the Department of Energy. Because I believe that you can pay people to walk in the door. Ellyn: By stepping in when they don’t need it and whatever. Ellyn: So the people system. obviously. And as they say. Yourdon: Yeah. [I] also have a technical Congressional appointment. [and] political people. Yourdon: [laughter] That’s. people join companies but quit bosses. So the diversity of that and the operational requirements are a complicated puzzle because. the Utilities Telecom Council. I had the best.CIOs at Work And I actually like that about the company. finding the exact right place for a specific person so that they are not only highly productive and contributing. if you’re in trading. There are a couple of aspects of that that I’d like to pursue. Yourdon: [laughter] By waving your baton.

Any of those are deadly. strong character. or over-identified with technology. obviously. They’re in other departments and I’ve been asked to coach them through our mentoring program. their team. you must have. Maybe that’s my background. Ellyn: Which is something else that I’m working on. Being in IT. right. I don’t know. you know. So. the team that really on a day-to-day basis helps them get their job done. Yourdon: Right. but directly in my organization what I’m trying to build into my directors. and find a good answer when you’re in the middle of competing priorities and seeming conflicts of interest. But you can’t just be the real deal. right. you got to be the real deal. okay. I’m actually pursuing certification through the International Coaching Federation. Ellyn: That’s … part of the issue.000 or 10. so I’m a little at odds with the idea that you take the guy who was great with the spreadsheets and has great business relationships and then you put him in charge of some type of IT. Yourdon: Ahh. personally. or over-identified with the IT interests. In addition to that. the directors or whoever they might be who essentially report right to you: I’ve heard several of the CIOs talking about that. and the ability to live in the gray zone. but for me. Now. And for me. that whole area. because I’m open to taking on anyone who wants coaching. So I do a fair amount of coaching. pretty far down. technical competence comes from actually having practiced in our industry. That goes without saying. Yourdon: Sure.178 Chapter 9 | Lynne Ellyn: Senior Vice President and CIO. How far down the hierarchy do you go in terms of practicing your coaching work or carrying it out? Ellyn: Well. In order for people to get onto that part of your team. so I do end up coaching some people. so I’m building my coaching hours. my managers. in your IT empire. You know. you know. 1. they have to be technically competent. what skills or characteristics were you really looking for? Ellyn: Well. programmed in a ton of different languages. and one of the . so I’m actually coaching some women in the company who aren’t in IT.000 people. I mean. I don’t subscribe to that. I actually programmed. DTE Energy people. with a ton of paradoxes. you’re the crossroads for everything and getting over-identified with your business constituents. and my supervisors is their ability to coach others. so it could be a bias. You also have to have great people skills. designed databases.

Yourdon: Hmm. they have to get along. is unusual because competition. and your identity with them is bound to help everyone’s success. okay. assisting. for your team? Ellyn: It has not. but they also want to have a team of people that can get along with each other because. Of course. And helping. I think. but the idea that you and your peers are so interdependent. It’s again back to the idea that we are IT. Now. is not one of my directors would ever allow one of their peers to fail at anything. Yourdon: That certainly is true. but I’d go a step further. Ellyn: And that orientation. they would—and we call it “swarming”— they would swarm the problem and pull their peer out of issues because they understand that any problem anywhere in IT is everyone in IT’s problem. Not that that should ever happen or happen frequently. but I think it’s more than being able to get along. you said another thing in this area of discussion that I want to pursue a little bit. I think it’s a level of sophistication you don’t see in many organizations. to keep it performing. you know. Yeah. in this kind of economy and business environment we’ve got today. clearly technical competence. okay. even doing the job for your peer that’s necessary in order to keep the group together. whether they’re IT or otherwise. the competence from being a practitioner and some of these other things are obviously important. Yourdon: Interesting. showing up the guy next to you. Ellyn: If someone was in trouble. Yourdon: Ahh. Has that been a big issue for. a lot of them are putting in 12-hour days and you don’t want to have to spend 12 hours a day working with people you fundamentally don’t like. and the organizations. has for a long time been the way that people have got promoted.CIOs at Work things I just love about my director team. and I think makes for a really strong organization of any kind. that are going to really perform are able to move to that level of sophisticated community and deep identity with the success of the group. so clearly you and your team find yourselves interacting with a lot of other peer-level people in the various business areas with whom I have to assume you occasionally have some conflicts or 179 . there’s another theme I’ve heard from several of the CIOs I’ve talked to about this area of your team. And several of them have said. that’s what you’re going to do. When you said that you and your directors are very much at the crossroads because these days everything goes through IT.

they’ll go down to Radio Shack or whatever the equivalent is today. you know. benchmarking with other companies and presenting the facts of how you stack up against the performance they would get elsewhere is the only survival technique I know to work.180 Chapter 9 | Lynne Ellyn: Senior Vice President and CIO. again. and you probably know this. consistent in our communication. and the people in IT all understand that if they go native. back to the sense of community. Everybody who has ever used the Internet or done a spreadsheet knows exactly how easy this should be. You know. and so forth. You mentioned your energy traders as kind of an example of people that I would imagine are somewhat rogue technicians. And that’s a survival technique. and produce cars better than the car manufacturers. pursue the kinds of policies and strategies you think are crucial from an IT perspective? Ellyn: Well. That we have to be clear in our communication. when a lot of the technology is cheap and widely available. right! Ellyn: It’s as though everybody who ever drove a car would believe that they could engineer. you know. then the whole all falls apart— that the consequences are bad. you’re exactly right. You know. trying to get that across to your peers is difficult. ’cause this battle never ends. The idea that software could be more complex than the vehicle they drive or the most complex part of it is the software. When your directors. And certainly. and. Yourdon: [laughter] Yeah. your supervisors. explaining. build the factory. it’s been true for 25 years. and you find yourselves dealing with very strong. your managers. How do you and your team manage to get your point across or. Yourdon: Right. who have risen up to where they are right now at least partly through the strength of their personality and convictions. ever since the PC came out. we have to always remind people that we’re balancing competing priorities. if you will. design. It’s an interesting thing that the complexity in systems is so poorly understood and yet. demonstrating. Yourdon: Well. Ellyn: And so we have a situation where that completely eludes people. or download an app for their . DTE Energy disagreements. people don’t get that. particularly these days. and kind of veer outside in order to please somebody. So back to how do we influence and work with them. if they don’t like the answer they’re given by you. by the way. and who feel that they really know how to do their job or they probably think they know how to do your job better than you do. successful leaders. and we have to continuously be educating. complexity scientists say the most complex products on earth are software.

Yourdon: Ahh. We’ll do it ourselves. but they don’t color outside the lines. Ellyn: Oh. you know. That’s amazing. “Screw you. to keep track of what other people are worrying about and thinking about and planning for. said that he’s beginning to think of his job as being the chief media officer in terms of the effort he puts into communicating and educating and spreading the word about not only what they’re doing. Ellyn: Actually. it’s a really critical part. Yourdon: Oh. Ellyn: And the like. benchmarking against what … the competitors [are] doing. one of the other things you mentioned is very consistent with what I’ve heard from other CIOs. But.CIOs at Work iPhone and say. which has 17 of the largest electric utilities. We spent a thousand hours collecting the data for our benchmark with them. Last year. absolutely. I’m guessing it’s like five. when the trades are over at the end of the day. One other thing you also mentioned that kind of fits into this whole thing. we monitor and police our network and we manage the desktops to such a degree. Yourdon: Well. uhh. It’s absolutely essential. Ellyn: But to be truthful.” until it gets out of hand and then they come begging for help. Yourdon: Yeah. and that is the importance of staying in touch with other CIOs both in your industry and really all industries. there has to be an audit trail. We don’t need you. yeah. so it turns out they’re very impatient and they want what they want. one. It’s actually more likely in other…in engineering areas. really? Ellyn: Because they are also subject to daily scrutiny around what they’ve done. Yourdon: Ah. that is kind of a no-brainer. what the peers in our industry doing—I think that is going to become increasingly important. I don’t have that problem with them. Yourdon: Wow. seven percent. good point. which isn’t such a big part of my time. to get a handle on the sort of the lobbying efforts or industry positions. 181 . and in fact. okay. it’s really hard to do that. I forget which one it was now. but as you just said. we belonged to UNITE. and so on. That is a big part of my job today and the work my staff does. How much of your time do you spend doing that sort of thing? Ellyn: Well.

You know. DTE Energy Ellyn: That’s been hugely important. Yourdon: [laughter] Ellyn: The grid is highly automated now. we have been railroaded into doing that as an IT-based network. And we start to bring on a fair amount of electrical cars. but there are great opportunities to improve the manageability of the electrical distribution grid. but meters to the extent that homeowners adopt a lot of home automation.182 Chapter 9 | Lynne Ellyn: Senior Vice President and CIO. every company is now running. And so back in those days. the big one. At the same time. electric vehicles. I have another one coming up and we strategized around those things. and management that is going to be in here. and that remains to be seen.” The problem with that title is that it implies that there is a stupid grid. allowing for better management. Yourdon: Hmm. but there are a lot of people who are juiced about it. spending 5 to 10 percent of their IT budget on security issues. just managing the IT networks we know well. So. 20 different security tools. Becky Blalock from Southern Company and I collaborated to do some policy discussions with the lawyers at the Department of Energy. when I was out in Silicon Valley and we were IP-ing everything. at one time (this predates me) Detroit Edison had 140 engineers that just operated it. in giving them iPod applications and smart phone . none of us. ’97. billing. I don’t believe the opportunities are where the popular press or Silicon Valley want them to be. and ’98. a big deal. is the “smart grid. we had a few security tools. This is a re-automation of the grid. So now we’re getting to IP electrical grids. Today it’s done with just a dozen or fewer. improving the reliability. What are some of the new trends that you see coming down the line that you think are going to influence the IT industry in your world of utilities in the next few years? Ellyn: Well. Yourdon: Let me switch gears to another question area that I imagine you would enjoy talking about. some of which may help the consumer if you believe all of the venture capitalists (VCs) who are funding all of this stuff out in Silicon Valley. what. For example. in one column are all of these amazing possible things that we will be able to do. Ellyn: So if you go back to 1995 and ’96. of course. Great opportunities. As we go into more grid automation and smart meters and we can debate how smart they are. It’s a big deal for our industry. none of us anticipated the volume of security issues that we would face in the future and how that volume would ever be increasing in diversity and sophistication. some of which benefit the consumer by reducing the cost. and the automation.

” Yourdon: Mm-hmm. We’ve got to find a better way. We got rid of the mainframe after we implemented a new enterprise business system based on SAP and some other technology. Yourdon: I want to get to the problems and gists and so forth in a second. okay. I have so much white space in all three data centers. because this is a lot of money for them.CIOs at Work applications that allow them to turn their lights off and on and cycle their pool filters and whatever if we believe that. I see deeply worrying and troubling things. So the few times we’ve looked at 183 . Ellyn: But we moved very strongly to virtualize our data centers. I don’t believe that that’s going to be anytime soon. we get a new security tool. And trying to enable without overly enabling potential problems is [like] walking a tightrope right now. Yourdon: Right. I was faced with huge capital investments to knock the walls out and make the data centers bigger. We have a “patch Tuesday” to fix problems that have already been exploited. we can’t do this. but let me just finish off this area we’ve been talking about. by the way. I said.” So it’s pretty early in the virtualization game. what do we know about IT now? They are not secure. How much of an impact on your world do some of the other hot buzz words have that we’re all seeing in the press these days. And the IT industry is being hugely out-lobbied in Washington by the tech industry. just like cloud computing and virtualization and so forth? Are those just sort of things that you use. bright. Ellyn: Well. but we’ll see if over time… So we have this. you know. Ellyn: So logic tells me that the future for these IT networks can’t be hugely different. Really. a new security patch constantly. it’s not even funny. And by the way. We. And we always have as an asterisk attached to it: “Oh. I thought so. And today. because every experiment with that has shown that people play with it for a couple of months and then they’ve got better things to do. it ought to be secure. if we believe that’s what people are going to do. shiny future that we are in this process of creating. about seven years ago. we moved very strongly ahead of the game on virtualization. So I see great and exciting things. Yourdon: Oh. or are they going to fundamentally change the way that you guys do business? Ellyn: Well. “You know. And we’ve moved along the virtualization path very strongly. Right. So.

virtualization—absolutely three stars. everybody’s budget is cut. and again. and mischief makers. This year iPads were hot. interesting. but we’re going to view them as consumer devices. Cloud computing—a big question mark. But it’s your choice what you want to bring to work. We’re in the process of moving to a point of view where we’re going to enable a bunch of these. You’re more at risk of running out of cash than you are if somebody is stealing your secrets. Yourdon: Interesting. Ellyn: So. if you’re a fast startup. . I’d view it differently.184 Chapter 9 | Lynne Ellyn: Senior Vice President and CIO. Yourdon: Ahh. depending on your industry. I’m so highly virtualized—there’s not much money in it for them. that’s probably not a big deal. Ellyn: But for us. Because otherwise all you’re going to get is your mess for less. we watch it. DTE Energy “cloud computing”—if I could set aside my concerns about security. which I absolutely cannot. you know. Ellyn: And the point of view Yourdon: Yeah. okay. Yourdon: Sure. you know. you are the target of terrorists. possibly some of the corporate applications. So for us. . four stars. the corporate mail to you. you know. Ellyn: So . Yourdon: Ahh. Ellyn: So my point of view on virtualization is very similar to the outsourcing discussion 10 to 15 years ago: Get your house in order before you ask somebody else to do it. and then. Yourdon: And your mess is farther away that you can’t even see. criminals. you don’t have any data centers. All of the consumer device stuff. I think our role is to keep up with the technology where we can deliver the corporate connection to you. well. we’re not going to provision them. I sure wouldn’t do it with the likes of Amazon or Google. big deal. okay. you’ve got a different set of considerations. the edge devices. Five years ago BlackBerries were hot. Three years from now it will be something else. but of course. . you know. I agree. right. if I was in another company. of course you’d go to a cloud. And if I was going to do any cloud computing. But when you’re a 150-year-old utility company. Ellyn: So.

do you see those having a significant impact on the world that you live in. we have two points of view about that. which may or may not be brought to work by whomever. Facebook. because we’re not responding to that. and that’s something that I hear from everybody as being if not the central ingredient. whatever. again. I think [it] is a real win and a real enabler. in the whole area of problems and concerns you certainly mentioned security. If I were a marketing company or a consumer products company. customer interface. in the next few years? Ellyn: Well. That makes sense. At the same time. Ellyn: Not. I guess. the final part of my questions in this area. Yourdon: Right. we can have collaboration going on. not open to power plant personnel. Expanding that across the firewall boundary. what about. So my context is the company I’m currently in.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Hmm. so that we can have our own Wikipedia-like locations. but that’s really only for corporate communications and the service part of our business. we haven’t seen a business reason for us to do that. IT personnel. and draw on other people. we are rolling out and deploying social media tools inside the firewall. right. Are there any other big risks and problems and so on that you’re worried about over the next few years? 185 . we’re on Twitter. certainly one of the biggest problems of all to worry about. well. you had mentioned consumer service? What about using things like Twitter so that citizens out there on the streets of Detroit can communicate back to you guys about the problems they’re seeing or questions they have? Ellyn: We do have that. The most important thing we do is keep the lights and power on. that leads into. We’re on Facebook. Yourdon: Sure. two people working on a problem in different power plants being able to use internal social media to show each other what’s going on. I’d probably view this differently. Ellyn: But. and related things. frankly. we view it as a productivity hit. Twitter. okay. Well. Yourdon: Sure. you know. we can have chat rooms about problems. Now. and that has to do with the social media. what part is failing. We are not enabling our workforce to be spending time on these things because. it’s only open in the business context to those people who would be responding to that corporate communications customer service.

I’m going to fund a very different kind of company that is not going to be dependent on support revenues to keep my focus and product market. And this is a serious problem for expansion. As soon as you make that change. Yourdon: Right. they can demand that level of increase in order to just keep running what we already paid for. with huge profit margins. back when we all embraced the idea of component-based architecture. but a big concern across our industry. most IT budgets have been viciously constrained. That is very problematic. That’s the best we can do.” You know. And that’s problematic. You know. You know. Ellyn: We spend such a significant part of our budget just in life support for these large systems that doing the new thing becomes very. I have an enterprise business systems policy that includes SAP. So they can out-lobby us. DTE Energy Ellyn: A moderate concern for my company. And if you upgrade that product. that we’re not building the farm club for the future and we aren’t across the industry making the kind of investments. and I don’t see that changing in the next few years either. There’s a new release of the operating system as soon as you are up and you have to go to it. is under-investment in IT infrastructure. because otherwise you lose support. Ellyn: Not until somebody says. I’d want to take . training. sitting on IBM hardware with a million tentacles into other systems. You know. We have to deal with the likes of Oracle and Cisco. Well. Yourdon: That’s a good point. very difficult from a budget perspective. then you have to upgrade a third product. flexibility. It’s a problem and it requires radical change. I wish I were young and had less to risk. we have an 11 percent limit by law. Yourdon: Right.186 Chapter 9 | Lynne Ellyn: Senior Vice President and CIO. growth. [and] recruiting. Ellyn: We have to maybe tax it. in the utility industry. And part of this I lay at the feet of the vendor community because the durability of their products over time is an issue. and responsiveness. you know how this is. Maximo. we thought we were going to get to a point where there was enough level of abstraction between components and enough granularity that you wouldn’t have to change everything in order to change one thing. then you have to upgrade another product. and the idea that Java was going to be multi-platform-portable. Advantac. We have not gotten there. object-oriented programming and whatever. “Enough is enough. tools and technology. agility. a bunch of other products. You know.

there are some characteristics about being young. I’m not concerned about it. I keep hearing about all of this conflict in the workplace based on those differences. obviously.CIOs at Work this problem on. With young people comes a lot of energy. but I think you might have to be old to see the problem. I had the fresh-out-of-the-university rotational. yeah. there are differences. [laughter] Yourdon: That’s true. okay. Yourdon: I have two relatively small question areas left for you. a lot of naiveté. there is a norming sort of pressure whenever you work in an industry or company that over time you are going to be more like them or you are going to leave. Ellyn: I usually try to give them a tour of the data centers. Ellyn: When I was in Silicon Valley. 1990. but I hope somebody . the two times I was there. Yourdon: Right. And I think it’s a great process. So yes. of familiarity and maybe some degree of competence with. I like it. I don’t know. or 2010. so I don’t know. even back in my Chrysler days. Yourdon: What about the fact that they now bring with them a whole lifetime. Maybe we just don’t have enough difference for me to have experienced that. I think. And so. However. a lot of “just do it. 187 . and then the whole context around you kind of colors in that outline. Everybody wanted to be in the advanced technology group for at least one rotation.” and you’d like to preserve some of that. 1980. . not being jaded. I hate to say IT. Do you see significant differences in the behaviors and attitudes of the new generation of workers that you’re hiring out of university today as compared to. literally since birth. . At the same time. Ellyn: But I’m hoping one day it will change. having your whole life in front of you that are kind of durable. five or ten years ago? Ellyn: Yes. Whether that was your state of being in 1970. because I’ve always been at the edge of advanced technologies and the new. new things. One is the whole generational issue. But my observation is. I was doing the adult supervision thing. 2000. I’m just optimistic. you’d like them to start building judgment. but the computerized toys and gadgets that they’ve had access to? Ellyn: Well. when I get people who think that because they drive a car they know everything about designing and engineering them… Yourdon: [laughter] Yeah.

the young women who are in IT today and I meet a lot of them. Yourdon: Hmm. Get them a visit to a nuclear plant. and I hope we can attract more to the field like that. we didn’t have that back then. Well.” Yourdon: [laughter] Ellyn: She’s a very talented designer. .188 Chapter 9 | Lynne Ellyn: Yourdon: Ahh. She’s done museum design and whatever. Yourdon: Sure. we have women who are computer architects. yeah. They are far more ambitious. one last question in that area which kind of goes back to the very beginning of your comments. Get them on the energy trading floor. though. What about differences. and that is. technically educated and savvy in so many ways. Well. One. they believe all the jobs did go somewhere else. Ellyn: That women signing up for engineering and science programs and IT are fewer and fewer. Three. Ellyn: And knock some of the stardust right out of their eyes. yeah. I think there are some. so she was able to make a choice that I can’t think of any opportunity I had like that. so the ones I do meet are pretty awesome. Two. DTE Energy Ellyn: The systems operations center where we’re managing the flow of power. That’s very interesting. there are now much wider opportunities to choose from. so they have opportunities that I would have never even thought of. are there more of them or fewer of them? Are they smarter or whatever than they were. you work too hard. So having said that. And I don’t know what I would have done. Yourdon: Oh. You know that statistically. there are fewer of them. I guess it’s kind of appropriate for the end of a discussion like this. and she kind of balances between periods of working and periods of raising her kids. That’s encouraging. and they start to realize that an edge device doesn’t tell you much about what goes on in the center and smart people get it. okay. they get it. You know. Yourdon: Ahh. the young women coming out of engineering schools. I’m an advisor to the Michigan Council of Women in Technology. okay. But they have choices we didn’t have. when you first came out of university? Ellyn: Well. you know. Now. aggressive. She always said. “Mommy. instead of being systems analysts. and my daughter would be an example of this. They have over 600 members. generational differences in terms of female IT people? You know. I mean. Senior Vice President and CIO. one last question.

Yourdon: [laughter] Ellyn: But. and how successful you are. we now know so much more about the role the brain plays. Yourdon: Hmm. okay. All right. 189 . well. the chemistry of the brain. we’ll. you know. . Now. Yourdon: Sure. how you relate to people. would-be CIOs in organizations work on how do you get appropriate synergy between computer systems and technical systems and the big human system? I think that’s where all the opportunities are. something will happen from here. Ellyn: I’ve been tracking challenges on our remote access capacity because of the number of people who are out. You take care. and this kind of harkens back to my science and roots. but also in how that relates to building really effective systems. The second thing I’m doing I start next month. I’m very interested in cognitive science. So. I’m passionate about how that relates to building really effective organizations. how deficits in one area of the brain do . remember I told you all the opportunities always showed up? Yourdon: [laughter] Oh. and I look forward to seeing you in person then. . Yourdon: [laughter] I’m sure. having said that. because I’d like to help other CIOs. Ellyn: How we apply that to . So I don’t know where it’s going other than I’m going to spend ten months studying my brains out. thanks again. but I’m expanding right now in two directions. do you hope to be a CIO for the rest of your life? Where do you go from here? Ellyn: Well. . I’m sure we’ll schedule for sometime later in the spring. I’m pursuing a postgraduate certificate in the neuroscience leadership from Middlesex University in London. So I have faith there is something else. I think it’s likely that I will finish out as a CIO. Ellyn: You should be glad you’re where you’re at and I’m certainly glad I was able to get out of Dodge. so… Yourdon: I can imagine. One is this coaching thing. the structure. Ellyn: Rather than me finding them.CIOs at Work what’s next for you? You know. . Ellyn: Great. It’s going to show up.

190 Chapter 9 | Lynne Ellyn: Senior Vice President and CIO. . bye. Ellyn: Okay. Lynne. DTE Energy Yourdon: Thanks a lot. Bye-bye now.

When I was growing up. corporate communication. as well as the Customer Advisory Boards of Oracle and AT&T. Ed Yourdon: One of the things that I find that people are very interested in is to get a sense of how you got started and particularly whether there were any mentors or guiding lights that pointed the way when you were just getting started in the field. Ms. Blalock has provided broad leadership in many positions. Southern Company. I .CHAPTER 10 Becky Blalock Senior Vice President and CIO. and customer service. Becky Blalock: I believe my background growing up influenced where I ended up. external affairs. She leads more than 1. finance. She serves on the CIO advisory board for Sierra Ventures. and in 2006. marketing. I’m an Air Force brat. including accounting. Since beginning her career at Georgia Power in 1978. She is listed among the Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. she was inducted as one of Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT leaders.100 employees in a company that has been consistently recognized as one of the 100 Most Innovative Companies by CIO magazine and one of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT by Computerworld.000 square miles. where she directs the electric service provider’s IT strategy and operations across nine subsidiaries and 120. the office of the CEO. Atlanta Becky Blalock is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Atlantabased Southern Company. we moved a lot.

He had me working on an initiative to get better information and better metrics for how we could manage the business. I’m not an Air Force brat per se. I mean. but every year we moved to a new town. and my parents said. it’s tough. Loved it when I was young because you’re the new kid in the class. Yourdon: Well. Go check yourself in. He wanted an executive information dashboard and he was having a really difficult time trying to get that data out of our financial organization. Yourdon: That’s very interesting. but I understand what you’re saying. but we did make some progress when I reported to him. I was lucky that I ended up in just one high school. Blalock: And I got my undergraduate degree in marketing and then moved into finance inside the company. [laughter] Blalock: You’re the only person I’ve ever talked to that’s been to more schools than me. . To be able to adapt to completely unexpected circumstances must be a very valuable skill? Blalock: When you go into a new environment. three junior high schools. went to the same schools. but only one high school as it turned out. Atlanta went to four high schools. but when you get to high school and middle school. so I went to 17 different schools. “The school is down the street. but one of the things that all the moving around taught me was to be very adaptable and unafraid to go into new environments. A lot of people fear change and going into new environments because they grew up in the same town. it hits close to home. I went back to school at night to get an MBA in finance later in my career. you know. I ended up in IT was through my stint as assistant to our then-CEO at Georgia Power. Yourdon: Oh yeah. but my dad worked for a defense contractor and we were stationed just outside Air Force bases. it’s all about how you adapt and how you fit in with people. I don’t think I put all those pieces together until later.192 Chapter 10 | Becky Blalock: Senior Vice President and CIO. I don’t think I realized it then. ’cause I went to 15. our systems weren’t designed to pull information in those formats. At that time. and eight elementary schools. I came into the corporate world and wasn’t afraid to do things that I really had no background in because I’d been doing new things all my life. Absolutely. know the same people. I think my background taught me a lot of adaptability.” and so I can relate to what you’re saying. because I hated moving around in middle school and high school. Southern Company.

CIOs at Work At that same time. as I’d never been through anything like that. I had responsibility for marketing and customer service. And the mindset that I took into IT is the mindset that I got from Allen Franklin. and then system-wide. I had no background in IT other than the fact that I did some systems development work early in my career. They created regional CIO jobs. which was tough. and I want you to go do that.” And I said. who was [the] CEO at the time. “It’s a job about information … You know that I am struggling because I do not have the information and the metrics I need to run this business. we’re creating these regional CIO jobs. “Help me get the information that I need to more effectively run this business. True. So I left IT after those nine months and ran our corporate communication group and then had an opportunity to run our business and economic development group. when the CEO asks you to do something. and I have really carried this with me throughout my tenure in IT.” I was in the regional CIO job for nine months when the job of running corporate communication at Georgia Power opened up. Let’s think about how we use the information to more effectively run our business. for our telecommunications company. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” You know. and the Georgia Power Management Council decided I would be good in this role. but I really didn’t even know any of the people in the organization. We had to downsize. I had responsibility for Georgia Power. They were pulling IT out of our operating companies and centralizing it. “You know. So the CEO walked into my office and said. you don’t really have a choice about it! Yourdon: Yeah. “Let’s not be so enamored with the technology. He said. 193 .” You know. so what a great opportunity to run PR for a company that’s going to be an Olympic sponsor.” And he said. across Southern Company. It was a fabulous time to be there because we were going through a major transformation. The company decided we were going to be an Olympic sponsor. Blalock: As a regional CIO. IT was going through a big reorganization. I was named the Vice President for Community and Economic Development and had been out of IT about six years when the CIO job opened up again. My CEO said to me.

One of the things he said to me.” So I did. grooming and growing that workforce. Yourdon: Wow. then come back and let’s meet again. They really don’t get the opportunity to go out into the business and take that knowledge. but we weren’t telling that story. “I think I figured out what my three things need to be. I’ll write those three things down for people and tell them what they are.” He said. We were way ahead of anybody in the industry. which delivered significant business value and drove our business to be a leader.194 Chapter 10 | Becky Blalock: Senior Vice President and CIO. I interviewed our vendors and took all that information into consideration. Well. We were doing incredible things. Southern Company. “Normally. when somebody comes into a role like this. I had a lot of success on the business side and did many things in the business and then got the opportunity to come here and lead this group for the past nine years. is. There had been a lot of churn. He was not a mentor in the sense that he knew a lot about IT. I tell them to think about the three most important things you want to leave as your legacy when you walk away from the job. and I share this a lot when I mentor others.” And he said. would you consider the CEO who got you started on this path to be a mentor in the traditional sense? Any others? Blalock: Absolutely. “I want you to think about what those three things should be.” The second focus should be the opportunity to brand Southern Company as an innovative company. And I was fortunate that I had some brief experience there. “I don’t know what to tell you when they are in IT. Atlanta It was the third time it had opened up. Normally. and there was not a good. I interviewed the people we support inside the company. I didn’t . And then the third focus would be to look back—at the end of my career— and show that we rolled out incredible technology. Also IT changes so much that it’s important for the people we have to stay very current on what’s happening. And I told him. I went off and I interviewed employees. But they grow up and they stay in IT. through the way we were using technology. We needed to be more proactive in making people aware of how Southern Company was a leader in the way we applied technology. clear. but he was a great mentor in terms of staying focused on what really drives business success. you’ve got some of the smartest people in the company working in IT. There’s a huge opportunity to grow future leaders for Southern Company and this needs to be a big part of my focus. strong candidate for the job. Number one. a lot of turnover in the position.

Blalock: We’ve turned the corner in a couple of ways. 195 . Yourdon: Hmm. it’s a good one. We were viewed only as a cost center. We only have eight that have actually cleared because it takes a while to get there. Now. ‘Is this where I spent my time?’” He said. these very senior-level jobs. I think we’ve turned the corner now. First. “Okay. If you can look back each week and say. It’s very important that you always keep these three things in front of you because it will keep you focused on the most important things you need to do for Southern Company. I have used that as a guiding principle to keep me focused and to say no to things that did not fit this focus. I think those are the right three things. We had no intellectual property patents nine years ago. It’s kind of the first-things-first maxims that you hear in a lot of other places and it leads into the next area of questions that I had for you. Today we have 56 items that have cleared the hurdle to go in the pipeline for patents. ‘This is where I spent my time. so we started an intellectual property program and made sure that our people got financially and otherwise recognized for their creative ideas. we focused on making sure our people got recognized for things. they are. but that to me. write those down on a sheet of paper and every Friday. you pull that sheet of paper out and say. Blalock: Well. there’s all kinds of minutiae that people are going to want to pull you off to do and distract you from this focus. I would assume. which is basically what you’re doing and what you have been doing as a CIO to make your company more successful? And it sounds like those three things you just mentioned. And he said. but we actually got our first three last year. I’d like to look back and know we did some things that were significant in terms of the way we applied technology. I want people to show me what’s possible.’ you know your time was well spent. Some of the feedback I got from the executives we support is.” And really. “With these jobs.CIOs at Work know what these technologies would be. IT was—I think it was a demoralized organization. “I don’t need a bunch of ordertakers.” Yourdon: Aha. Yourdon: Well. continue to be at the top of your list today. We have focused a lot on our workforce.

got that recognition.500. They do that every year.” and it was really so little of an effort on our part. “I’ve been in the company 34 years. Second. Blalock: We try to make sure our successes get highlighted and celebrated. Yeah. Yourdon: Ahh.196 Chapter 10 | Becky Blalock: Senior Vice President and CIO. But it’s not just us. “A 34-year employee and this is the most important thing. Yourdon: Right. Dave Coker. our new CEO was the CIO when I was regional CIO. This year we received our best ranking—#18! I take a lot of pride in this ranking because it is based on a survey our employees complete. Southern Company. In fact. Yourdon: Wow. this year. It’s not just what you say about yourself. we started winning awards. Blalock: It’s not just the programs you have. That is very interesting. Atlanta Blalock: An employee who received one of these patents asked me to come to his office. Computerworld magazine has a survey of the 100 best places to work in IT in America. Blalock: And we have been honored for the last five consecutive years with that recognition. our VP of Computer and Networking Services. They are surveying our own employees. and I’ve gotten that recognition in the past. and I want you to know this is the thing I’m most proud of in my career. A number of people on our senior team have been picked as one of the 100 top leaders in IT by Computerworld. We have people across our organization who are getting recognition for phenomenal achievements. He said.” And we had given him a plaque and $1. Morale has improved dramatically in the organization. Yourdon: Interesting. We started getting picked by CIO magazine as one of the most innovative companies for IT. and we have a lot of folks in our organization who get opportunities to go into other parts of the business now. and I thought. It’s the first time we’ve had a CEO who used to be a CIO. have gotten that recognition in the past. 1 . In fact. so we are very excited about that. who are regional CIOs. In fact. one of our employees was named Engineer of the Year by Georgia Power last year. Blalock: Yes. Aline Ward and Marie Mouchet. I don’t think I’ve run into that in the various other interviews I’ve done. We started being on the InformationWeek’s 500 list of the most creative.

These people are coming out of college and they’re pushing us. trying to get people to embrace it and use it. in knowledge today. Young people know how to really leverage these tools. I would have gotten a very different answer.” You know. and they’ve grown up with them. that’s one area where I’ve gotten a pretty consistent response from everybody. I don’t know what his number is. it was just this weekend. having to do with the new generation—the digital natives—the young kids who are coming out of college right now. How do you view them in the context of what you’ve just been talking about. because people were still pushing technology down the throats of all the new employees. And she said. I have to go get my cell phone to tell you that. and they have the Internet at their fingertips. “Well. but we’re headed in that direction. We’re a ways away from that yet. I was at the lake with a bunch of my relatives and my niece was there. And I’ll give you an example. And I’m sure if I had asked that question five years ago. just like you do with your phone. No one person can know it all. but what you know about where to get the knowledge. it’s not so much about what you know. Yourdon: Right. Blalock: Well. Yourdon: Yep. “What’s his number?” She said. If you don’t embrace technology and really allow people to use the tools they’re comfortable with. Gone are the days when corporations are going to be deciding what PCs employees use.CIOs at Work Yourdon: You know. 197 . In the past. as potential leaders and so on? Are you optimistic. I think you’re going to come to work and bring your own PC. they don’t even know phone numbers anymore. Yourdon: Well. pessimistic? Do you see them as being any different than the generation that came out 10 or 20 years ago? Blalock: I think they’re going to make life very exciting for us. but they know where to go get them. Blalock: So much of what it’s going to take in the future to be successful is knowing where to find information. “I need to call my brother. very much the way you’ve just said it. they’re going to go work somewhere else where things are more open and flexible. IT was trying to push technology out. Blalock: IT needs to embrace them.” I said. I can’t resist the temptation to ask a question that normally comes up more toward the end of this conversation.

” Or “Oh. they don’t even have a conscious pause. it requires a conscious recognition that. They touch down in the middle of the night. You used to have to be in your office between 8 and 5 and wait for the phone to ring. Southern Company. I can assure you that it was a very busy time for us. of course. For example.198 Chapter 10 | Becky Blalock: Senior Vice President and CIO. People can work from anywhere now and they work all the time. but you’ve still got to be researching the right things. and I assume it’s going to be true for you as well. It might be easier to find the information. does it give you any concern that the younger generation can afford to operate in a more superficial fashion. I’d be curious to know how that plays itself out for the Southern Company. so that you’re going to get a phone call at 3 in the morning saying. Blalock: No. but I think that phenomenon is true everywhere. Blalock: Right. when there was the earthquake in Japan. Our systems have to be working. It’s just wired in. you’re certainly right about people—and it’s not only that they know where to get the information. another thing I’ve heard from almost every CIO. did your phone start ringing? Blalock: Our phone did ring because we are building the first new nuclear unit in 30 years in this country. On the other hand. you know. I can go to Google and get that information. “Oh. What are we doing about it?” And. Work is. I think it’s 24/7. everybody’s business these days is global. Yourdon: Well. and they don’t touch down just in the middle of the day. Yourdon: And you’ve got to know what you can trust and what you can’t trust. too. so that our crews know where those outages have occurred and know where to go and restore power. The research might be easier. whereas in my case. “There’s a revolution in Egypt. It was a very busy time for us now because there are a lot of tornadoes touching down. We are definitely a 24/7 business and IT. is the notion that even if their business is ostensibly a local business. . I still think you’ve got to have some thought leadership. I still think you’ve got to be smart enough to know what you need to look for. that phone number is already on my speed dial list. for lack of a better phrase. because the stuff is right at their fingertips? They don’t have to do any deep thinking.” So the younger generation has got a split-second jump on me usually in terms of getting that. Atlanta Yourdon: Well. And there are events around the world that impact us. and also. is 24/7.

I’m glad to hear that. Yourdon: Well. Some things that they may think are okay to do. Yourdon: Speaking of people. you’re even more straightforward. They are not nearly as bureaucratic as my generation. our success is most directly tied to who we surround ourselves with. I want to ask you about another area that you mentioned on this list of the top three priorities that you have. they may think it’s okay to run an app that they got on their iPad in a safety-critical part of your business that you just can’t afford to do. I think that’s the thing for everybody.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Well. but global. because it is a little different in the corporate world than it is in working for an entrepreneur or when you’re in college. That’s really what sets the U. Blalock: And these kids are bright. Blalock: Yeah.S. You know. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have these days. apart. how does a CIO create a successful team? Blalock: As CIOs. What do you think? Blalock: I think we’re going to be just fine with the next generation. Yourdon: That’s true. Yourdon: I hadn’t thought of it that way. Their innovation and their creativity are going to be very. You cannot be successful as a CIO if you don’t have a good 199 . IT is central to everything. I hear what you’re saying. no matter what we think we might be doing with our business. it is that they’re too open to risk. They embrace change. very badly needed. but they’re going to be competing against all the people around the world. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback that the next generation of workers do not have the same passion for work or the work ethic of our generation. like downloading copyrighted movies—you can’t do that in the corporate world. and so that’s a good confirmation. we are not only 24/7. And as a result. We’re going to need them to be flexible and adaptable because there’s going to be fewer of them having to do a whole lot more work. They’re so much more open to new things. If there’s one thing that we’ve got to be cautious about. they adapt so much better than my generation did. One of them was—I think it was the third one—was rolling out technology to enhance the business now. Blalock: Communication and education will be essential. and I think so much about success is being willing to take some risks. So.

Yourdon: What are the key criteria or characteristics you look for on the part of the people that are your team. but you’ve got to get the right people on the bus. We rate how effective we think we’re working together as a team.4 on a 10-[point] scale. the direct reports? And your point about having a wide variety of skills is interesting. That everybody’s got everybody else’s back. I can’t reiterate that enough. We don’t really need to continue doing the survey. I think the IT team at Southern Company is probably one of the stronger senior teams anywhere in the company. 2001]. Blalock: Absolutely. The first thing we did was focus on building a much stronger team.200 Chapter 10 | Becky Blalock: Senior Vice President and CIO. This survey keeps the focus on teamwork. We have each other’s back. You are really under such scrutiny from the business that you support. It touches everything. I think we rated ourselves a 5. Southern Company. Good to Great1. The two other more interesting responses I’ve got are a deep sense of integrity. The survey pulls you together cohesively as a team in IT. but that’s also the challenge in it. Today. We have some people who are never going to rate everybody a 10. but we rated ourselves a 9 as a team. . And the first time we did that. they didn’t support each other. and the beauty of IT is that you get to see the whole company. one of the things I heard was that it was not a team and that people didn’t like each other. My senior team—there are 14 people on the senior leadership team—we actually complete a teamwork survey twice a year. Or you may need to have someone who knows a lot about marketing because no one person can know it all. and it’s only together that we can be successful in doing what you need to for this company. You have to just nip that in the bud if it’s going on. and those people need to be very different. how important it is to have a team that pulls together. It’s like the book. When I got this job. We have to do it together. Atlanta team of people around you. You may need to have someone who knows a lot about finance if you don’t know a lot about finance. As part of the survey they also rate each other individually. 1 By Jim Collins [HarperCollins. and that the first thing I had to do was fix the team. but we do it because it’s affirmation that we need to continue to look out for each other. Generally it doesn’t take more than one person to mess up a team. The last time we did it. to remind the team that no one of us can do what we need to for this company. everybody gave us a 9.

For example. are you and your IT people expected to come up with completely new things that the business has not even thought of doing. some meet every month. IT has absolutely got to be aligned with the business. And these TLTs work very well for us. helping the business become more competitive or more successful. in the way of technology. and we have two processes in place at Southern Company that I think have really helped us with that. “Hey. They meet every month. You understand our business. people from the business and people from IT. We have teams that are made up of people from IT and people from the business called Technology Leadership Teams (TLTs). that’s a good reinforcement of what I’ve heard from others. they said. and you should be helping us figure out what’s the next great thing that’s coming in. I want to ask you about another area that you mentioned on this list of the top three priorities that you have. Some of them meet once a quarter.” We have embraced that.” And then we work together to prioritize the money that’s in the budget and make the decisions about how we proceed. There are 14 of those teams. To some extent that’s something every CIO would say he feels responsible for doing. You’re here inside our business. Engaging the business in the decisions that we make helps them take more ownership and helps them not to see us as a cost center but as a partner who’s truly driving value and success to the company.” And then IT will get involved and we’ll say. They’re one of the most active teams that we have. We will work with the distribution team members to determine if we can pull together a business case to evaluate doing this in our business. that’s a really good idea. “We don’t need a bunch of order-takers. but have become possible with new technology—or just enhancing the efficiency of what’s already going on? Blalock: I said earlier that when I got this job and interviewed people in the business. IT should never push technology that doesn’t drive value to the business. “Well. IT will discuss some emerging technologies that are becoming available in the market. the wire side of our business. one of the TLTs is in the distribution organization. that’s vaporware.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Well.” Or we’ll say. people in the business will go to a conference and talk to a vendor. the folks that actually distribute electricity to the homes. “Here is what a vendor says they can do. Sometimes. This process has helped us deliver tremendous value from the 201 . One of them was—I think it was the third one—was rolling out technology to enhance the business now. In your case. and they’ll bring back an idea to IT and say.

our unit that’s computerized. We’re doing things that help the company apply technology.202 Chapter 10 | Becky Blalock: Senior Vice President and CIO. actually. Blalock: We live in a world where the consumer market leads the business world. because most of the customer-touch in our company today is not through people. And so how do we in IT play a role in enhancing that experience? That is an important question. and there are huge opportunities to take that technology and develop a business case for saving money and applying it inside the corporate world. yeah. We also use it as a place where we can brainstorm about how we should apply some of these technologies to move the business forward. and never talk to a person. Southern Company. Look at what’s going on with sensor technology. because you need to have these products ahead of time so that you can then build the infrastructure to support them. which is critical because we have about 100 active projects under way at any point in time in IT. Most of the people who call the Customer Care Center talk to the voiceresponse unit. The second thing that we did is develop a technology lab where vendors would give us the beta version of a product and we would test it. Incredible ideas have surfaced in that center. Atlanta projects that we roll out. Blalock: They don’t communicate. You think about the banking industry: most people go to the ATM when they want to get cash. And we want to make sure we are looking at the technologies that are out there and utilizing them in the most efficient way and in the way that our . or they go online and do selfhelp. because one of the most important strategic things we focus on as a company is making sure we provide world-class customer service to the people we serve. interesting. We really empower our employees to use technology to be more efficient. it’s through technology. It talked about how we’re bringing in lots of innovative ideas in terms of how we drive this business forward. Yourdon: I’m sure you have. But sometimes it’s very hard for people to visualize that unless you get into a brainstorming session with them. That really came about in the consumer market. We have since evolved that lab into a showcase where we can bring our employees in and show them what’s coming in the way of technology. Yourdon: Sure. it was showcased in our 2008 annual report. And it has been a huge success. Yourdon: Ahh. Blalock: And this facility.

we not only enhance the customer’s experience. Business intelligence is going to be huge because we have so many sensors out on our network now that we can better predict when an outage will occur. we also save money. so that you replace the transformer before that happens. we have to think about is how do we better serve our customers on mobile devices. so you’ve got to have some traditional ways of reaching people. To be able to give every employee in the company information about how many customers are out and where they’re out is helpful. It also saves us money when we use technology. I’m a lot better equipped to answer those questions. it costs $3 per call to have a customer service representative handle a request. And a certain portion of our customer base really likes getting information that way. But there are sensors that allow us to look at our equipment and better tell if you’ve got a transformer that’s getting ready to blow. 203 . Yourdon: Well. but there’s a new generation of people coming and they want their information in a different fashion. As a company. as an employee. The second area where there’s a huge opportunity for us is on data analytics.CIOs at Work customers will embrace in terms of how we serve them. especially to engage our customers in more two-way communication. who do you think people call wanting to know when it’s coming back on? You can imagine. so that our employees always know what the state is of the things that are going on inside the company. When the power goes out in my neighborhood. And to the extent we can apply technology. On average. You don’t know when somebody’s going to run into a pole in their car. One of the things we’ve started doing is tweeting what the status is on our outages. So I think how we provide mobile solutions to our customers and how we put mobility out there in the way of dashboards. if I have that information at my fingertips. Predict it. One example I’ll give you is when there’s an outage. that leads me into the next obvious question—which is what interesting technologies do you see coming down the road in the next few years that you expect you’ll be able to take advantage of? Blalock: Mobility is exploding everywhere. so I think there’s a great opportunity in that mobility space. and the customer’s power is never out. We’ll never be able to predict them all because you don’t know where lightning’s going to hit. Not everybody’s going to have them.

They receive information about the exact location of the outage to save time. Blalock: In many cases. The customers don’t even have to call us. Yourdon: It certainly makes a lot of sense. Okay. Atlanta Also. Instead of 200. If customers want to be more efficient. and we will be leaders in helping move in that direction. there’s enough intelligence in the network that it only takes down power to. the analytics can be shared with out call center.204 Chapter 10 | Becky Blalock: Senior Vice President and CIO. I think the smart meters and the electric vehicles are two technologies. there may be customers that are generating their own power through solar panels. these smart meters have the intelligence to tell them when they’re using a lot and determine what it is that’s driving usage up. analytics allow us to perform better service. not necessarily in IT that are going to revolutionize our business in the way people are going to use electricity. instead of it taking down electricity to 200 homes. “We’re depending on Moore’s Law to continue for another decade”— you know. Yourdon: I assume that’s just one small part of the overall buzzword of the “smart grid” that you folks in your industry are looking forward to over the next 10 or 20 years? Blalock: Absolutely. For example. when somebody does hit a pole. like I said. There is lots of transformation coming in that area.” All of that is coming in the very near future. the fundamental law that says computing power doubles in price performance every 18 months. as well. We’re putting smart meters on everyone’s home so we can tell them—in the future—how much electricity they’re using at different times of the day. that we were going to run out of ideas for continuing to improve . it would only take a few homes down until you can get a truck to the location. And the other thing is that in the future there will be a lot more distributed generation. there’s one kind of mundane answer that I was expecting everybody to give me that I haven’t really heard. five homes. Southern Company. We can call them and say. “A pole in your area has been damaged. Yourdon: Wow. You know. Crews are on site and repair should be complete soon. say. I could talk forever about the things that we see coming. and that is the response from people who say. And the trucks are equipped with analytics. and there were all these predictions it was going to stop after ten years. I’ve been around since that started. but I do think mobility and business analytics are going to be huge. the system is self-healing and can automatically switch the flow of power to keep some customers from going out. In addition.

farming technology progressed enough. for the first time. We think we’ve been growing at about 35 percent a year at Southern Company. but that’s very reassuring. If anything. there’s one last thing I’d be curious about in terms of futures to see if you think it’s important. Blalock: Absolutely.” Well. beyond which I won’t really care. Nobody really even thought about virtualization—that was a buzzword five years ago. And the latest I’ve heard from Intel is that it’s going to keep going ‘til at least the year 2026. You know.” He argues that we are at a point now in society. but we’re bracing ourselves for the fact that we’re going to have a lot more data in the future. but I don’t think there’s quite enough appreciation for it yet. I’ve heard one or two people. In the developed world. Blalock: And I don’t see any of this slowing down. and now it’s commonplace. There’s a buzzword that was introduced by a futurist named Clay Shirky called “cognitive surplus. This can actually go back to the history of mankind because mankind used to have to spend all their time growing food. “Not in my lifetime. so it’s coming. we now have a society that can give back in thousands of different ways. we’re going to continue to reinvent. the importance of the data analytics in this new world. just to survive. where we have enough spare time supported by technology that mankind can contribute its surplus cognitive energy. CIOs that I’ve interviewed focus on the same thing. We haven’t seen that yet. You know. Cloud computing—most large enterprise groups were saying. It’s already starting to double every year. you don’t worry about food. Yourdon: I would certainly agree with that. and do things that have never been done before—the classic example of which is Wikipedia. Blalock: And these leapfrog innovations that will continue to surface because the amount of data is … it’s mind-boggling how much data we’re going to have. Maybe not everything. You go to the grocery store and there is a ton of anything you want. Then. Yourdon: Yeah.CIOs at Work technology. And I’m curious whether that’s something that’s meaningful to a utility company. we’re even growing stuff out in 205 . but we’re taking higher chunks of it to the cloud. so that today. guess what? We’re figuring out how to do cloud computing. which is I think pretty much on par with what we’ve seen traditionally in the world.

We do a wonderful job managing threats. I do believe more cognitive time has been freed up. that’s difficult. solving a problem. but I also think there’s a lot of stuff consuming our time. to me. Yourdon: Okay. so those are the things that keep me up at night. As we . Southern Company. Anytime you have a challenging personnel issue. I don’t think it’s so much that you’ve got free time.206 Chapter 10 | Becky Blalock: Senior Vice President and CIO. Yourdon: That makes sense. I want to make sure that I have some time to ask you about the other side of this—the dark side of the force. You wouldn’t have had somebody from China and someone from the U. And genetics has allowed food to get even more progressive. I also worry about cybersecurity. if there is anything? Blalock: People ask me that question a lot. and it’s really not that much to do with IT. You solve the problem and you move on. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. because it’s not black and white. but will always have to stay on top of it. Atlanta the middle of the desert now. It’s the collaboration and the fact that we’re bringing all of this brainpower together so that you can problem-solve in ways that we couldn’t have done. Blalock: I’m not inordinately worried about it because I think that Southern Company has some of the best thought leadership in the country. collaborating 20 years ago. It’s not that people have more free time. And that you’re going to continue to see big changes in medicine.S. What are the things that give you nightmares and keep you awake at night. They have more time and better tools to collaborate. I think the single most challenging thing you deal with as a CIO is personnel. IT is pretty black and white. yep. That’s true. And you’ll see big changes in energy and the way energy gets produced and consumed. Blalock: The Internet has changed the way we live and think. more so than anything ever has. Human beings are not. and I think we’re continuing on that evolution. And it has turned us into a global society. Yourdon: Yep. and it’s all because of all this knowledge-sharing that’s going on. There are people who are always trying to move the company to become more and more dependent on this technology. Blalock: The power of that combined thinking is what I think is driving innovation.

if you want to be successful. and if this microwave tower went out. I could be so much more productive. We’ve focused a lot on cross-training and IT is a key part of the solution to all that. Yourdon: Yeah. And we talked to some of the senior linemen and asked. so that when they do eventually retire. You kept microfiche by your desk. If I had all that knowledge right here at my fingertips. because you’ve got these really smart people who you have to keep motivated. I can remember when I came to work for the company: We had a mainframe system and I was out in the field. Blalock: Absolutely. I built this system. And I knock on wood. we are responsible for leading all this technology. Blalock: And it used to happen on a regular basis. And so I think it’s a challenge to stay on top of that. and you’ve got to bring them along with you. “I don’t need that. Yourdon: And I would imagine you’ve got to focus a lot also on getting the knowledge out of their heads and into some sharable form. We did a focus group meeting in one of our district offices. and they said.CIOs at Work become more dependent on technology.” Then we talked to some of the young engineers who were fresh out of college and asked them. What I do not see enough of sometimes is the leadership around the people dimension. As CIOs. 207 . I’ve got it all right up here in my brain. But the people aspect of it is crucial. The systems are getting more and more reliable. but you can’t do it alone. And that’s really what is so important. And it’s because we have such great intelligence and redundancy in the system. “Would it be helpful to you if we took a lot of the maps and stuff that you have here and we put them on a computer and you could take them to the field with you?” And they said. So I think that’s one of the most exciting things about IT. you don’t lose it entirely. you were out of business. “Could you do that for us?” They said. but we rarely ever have anything go down now. “That would be so helpful if I had those maps at my fingertips instead of having to go back to the district office and pull them out and look at them and try to reengineer the system.” So I think IT is the solution to all of that. there are also people who would love to be disruptive in that world. I love a challenge and I like learning new things and doing things in different ways. and it’s only going to continue to improve.

” But. It’s interesting because I have talked to two former CIOs recently. This knowledge is a strong foundation for the CEO of the future. All right. that keeps your job from being boring. Well. Blalock: But it is becoming more of a trend. I’ve been tracking these people down everywhere. you know. Atlanta Yourdon: Interesting. of a bigger and even more challenging company as time went on. Blalock: And like I said. Yourdon: Hmm. “It’s been a great run. you made the point that if one wants to. Well. and the fact that you’ve always got to be one step ahead. because you’ve gotten such great knowledge about the business. and they are bringing incredible knowledge to make these companies successful. And I’ve also run into a lot of CIOs who are at the end of their career and who have said. and they go up to bigger companies. . Nothing else really quite compares to doing this. Yourdon: That was very unusual. Southern Company. CIOs today have such broad knowledge of all business processes across the enterprise. so your idea is that a lot of CIOs would probably be perfectly happy continuing to be a CIO. that’s encouraging to hear. I certainly have seen that as. Blalock: Yeah. they really don’t want to go anywhere else. certainly. our current CEO was the CIO. What they have elected to do is sit on boards for small technology startup companies. We’re very proud of him. one could go on to be a CEO or any other position in the company. in thinking about how you apply this technology and how you embrace it. And they love it.208 Chapter 10 | Becky Blalock: Senior Vice President and CIO. Yourdon: Well. Let me wrap this up with the final question that I’ve asked every CIO—and that is. They are having fun. I think CIOs can go anywhere they want. Blalock: You’ve got to know the business to apply technology. Yourdon: Yeah. The technology they provide is touching the customer in a powerful way. a lot of CIOs do move around. where do you go from here? What is life after a CIO. maybe. I think the real challenge is when I talk to a lot of my peers. They really love running and working in IT. if your company continues to grow and take on more challenges. but now I’m going to go out and be a university professor or do stuff in the community. if there is such a thing? Blalock: Life after a CIO? Umm. maybe it will continue to do so.

Lately. Blalock: There are many young companies who are just starving to know how to get in. disaster recovery. Becky. Thank you. this will at least get people thinking about some new ideas and directions. CIOs are certainly great at this. I’m sure—but hopefully. you’re right.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Yeah. that certainly makes sense. I’ve been on a few boards. but not that IT component. Yourdon: Well. Companies are beginning to think about the fact they need somebody with IT expertise. I have heard that from a couple of them. and how the company should be embracing and applying technology. I very much appreciate it. I have had some headhunters contact me about board positions. so I think you’re right. I very much want to thank you for your time. and how to sell to CIOs. Yeah. and there’s been a huge vacuum in that area for some of them because the people they bring in have got very strong finance backgrounds or marketing or whatever. We could talk all afternoon about any one of these topics. somebody who can counsel them regarding cybersecurity. 209 .

1 million customers and is one of the fastest-growing investor-owned electric utilities in the United States. he served 25 years as an information/supply chain executive at both AlliedSignal Inc. Computer and Automated Systems Association. Ed Yourdon: I find that a lot of people in the IT industry—especially young aspiring IT professionals who think some day they’re going to be a CIO— are curious how executives like you get to where you are. Bohlen also was recognized by his peers as one of Computerworld’s Premier 100 Leaders for 2006. Before joining APS. Prior to joining Textron. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) Ken Bohlen is Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Arizona Public Service Company (APS). He was recognized with the 2005 Stevie Award for “Best MIS and Systems Executive. Inc. Arizona’s largest electric company. Is this your first . Bohlen is a member of the American Production Inventory Control Society and a senior member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. and John Deere. Bohlen spent 10 years at Textron. where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer.” and is a member of IBM’s board of advisors. Based in Phoenix. Bohlen heads APS’s Information Technology department where he oversees the company’s vital electronic infrastructure and manages the digital challenges faced by a major electric utility. Bohlen also leads the Lean Six Sigma improvement process for APS. APS serves more than 1.CHAPTER 11 Ken Bohlen Vice President and CIO.

My school advisor gave me the opportunity that if I could find something I liked. she’d sponsor it. with DECnet and some of the communication activities from the CIM. but not in high school. I worked with the old punch-card routines and the slot machines. psychology. I was actually the CIO with the “I” being “innovation. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) CIO position. I realized that. or did you move up through the ranks to get to where you are? Ken Bohlen: It’s kind of an interesting story. Yeah. but I like it. So I worked for a small company that had computer processing and they made cardboard boxes. But I wasn’t a geeky techie guy. I was a part of PDP minicomputers. which was a co-op program with local companies. exciting. but I’ve just retired out of the manufacturing industry after thirty-five years. Bohlen: So it was a lot of diverse backgrounds. . Yourdon: That’s common in college. so I looked into what they had at my high school. Bohlen: And it’s been kind of fun. trainings. the old computer integrated manufacturing. That’s interesting. I don’t know where it’s going to take me. Yeah. I knew that I wanted to focus my energy with computers. Bohlen: Yeah. That is interesting. Christensen I do know. industrial relations. really? Hah! Bohlen: And Michael Tracy—I don’t know if you know Mike or Clay Christensen.212 Chapter 11 | Ken Bohlen: Vice President and CIO. The company was Doerfer Engineering. I knew early on in my life. right. I did it in high school. but I felt I needed to know how to use them in social settings as well.” Yourdon: Oh. I didn’t realize where it was going to take me or that I would land in manufacturing. and the wires around for sorting. opportunities. so I took several minors. in high school. Yourdon: Wow. I look back at your historical basis. In my last job. sociology.” So when I went to college—I went to Iowa State—I majored in computer science. yeah. Yourdon: Oh. So I kind of visualized a plan early on. Yourdon: Oh. that these things emerging as computers or intelligent work environments were growing. I wanted to find something different. Completely different worlds. “This thing is something. Now I’ve jumped into the utility or energy industry.

then you are okay! I think that provides you an awareness in areas that are still unknown territory. I think you’re certainly right on that. progress. particularly if you’re in an industry field outside of technology. Jay Harmon. but we had some tough times in the ’80s. I think it kind of depends. Jay would spend time talking with me after hours and actually even come over to my home. Bohlen: Well. John Deere was a very family-oriented company. I don’t know about you. who was head of production control. “You know. worldwide ops in India. this was outside of the IT arena. Yourdon: Well. We would talk about people. I had to step inside of that while I managed the worldwide billing materials and interfactory buying and selling for John Deere Waterloo operations. social media development area. God bless them. and Jay spent a lot of time mentoring me on the soft skills. Did you have any particularly important mentors or role models along the way? Bohlen: You know. you’ve got to be one of the first in the Fortune 100 companies with the title of Executive VP/Chief Innovation Officer. and relationships. branching out. knowing the computer’s going to be prevalent in many areas. again. Bohlen: And. I never took any courses on management or … you did take a broader range of things than I did. one in particular. but it’s because of the very beginning. geeky computer science education. I’ve had several. Ken. one other related question. as opposed to a very narrow.CIOs at Work Bohlen: Well. There were a few at John Deere. but when I went to college. which I find reflective of the fact that many of my peers in IT at the time were growing and bumbling through the process of turning it into a legitimate profession. so it was an interesting way of growing. Yourdon: [laughter] Okay. If they’ve got that calling and that desire. but I knew nothing about 213 . Michael Tracy wrote some of the original books on innovation. But I think that’s a very small group of very talented people. if you will. Yourdon: Yeah. If you want to stay in the Internet. Yourdon: Interesting. diversity. I was going to ask a similar kind of question because I’ve heard this from other CIOs that a broad education is far more valuable than you might think it is. let them go. I think huge riches remain to be made there. IT supply chain. So my counsel to young people is never say no to an opportunity to learn something outside of your bailiwick. He said. And what you’re saying here is similar to what I’ve heard from other people that the mentoring is far more likely to be outside of technology per se.” At that time I managed all of engineering. gaming.

Jerry was part of the AT&T environment. everybody was there in Iowa—but after getting the MBA. Yourdon: Interesting. In terms of where you are now. All of those kinds of things. as the director of supply chain. At the conclusion of the MBA program. Just the beginning. the central thing I’m interested in finding out is how you view IT as making a significant contribution to the organization’s strategic success in the future. I think.214 Chapter 11 | Ken Bohlen: Vice President and CIO. “If I ever had a chance. where we did a lot of case studies with Allied Signal. if not prevalent in the industry group. IT had a tremendous impact on processing speeds. it’s not uncommon to find the CIO—the super CIO. Bohlen: Well. I told Jerry. as a platform from which to operate. In the manufacturing arena. a legitimate academic MBA and then an experiential learning MBA from Larry Bossidy. And Jerry and I developed quite a relationship. will have to be in the future. Well. customer relationship opportunities. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) interacting with the human race [laughter] until I started getting management positions. we look at the future and the prevalence and the ambiguity going on in hardware platforms. As I look at manufacturing. They were really good to me. Ed.” Yourdon: [laughter] Interesting. but it’s an indicator that I see the IT profession losing . In the energy industry. So I essentially got two MBAs. One last question in this area: as you rose up through the ranks. I ran into a person by the name of Jerry Stead. We’re seeing that in the financial industry. cash cycles. Bohlen: Well. Now. that’s just one indicator. I went back and got an MBA in my early 40s. I have been a little surprised at IT’s lack of credibility in many of these organizations. In the utility business. I’d probably go to work for Allied Signal and leave Deere. There have been a few people I’ve spoken to who have gone back to get an advanced degree. I had no intent of ever leaving John Deere. Yourdon: Hmm. Anyway. were really good. and my family. Bohlen: So I have a little hypothesis—and then there’s what I see. IT. he was a traveling executive. I think we get a sense of what brought you to this point. did you go back to school or get any special training? Did you get an MBA or anything of that sort? Bohlen: Yes. it’s difficult to find any CIO in the proxies of their companies. but it’s been less common than I might have thought. if you will—in some of the annual reports and proxies. billing cycles. I did. guess what? I got hired at Allied Signal after my MBA graduation.

Some in the utility space are reporting to HR generalists. And if we can’t articulate it. it’s a mental note that I’ve made to myself. how will you use IT to make APS more successful in the future? And it sounds like you’re saying that IT has to take more responsibility for things involving the grid and the infrastructure. I don’t know how to change it.” I said. When I first came to the utility business. interesting. the energy environment that we’re operating in is just one huge infrastructure. Too often in my career I’ve noticed these problems are loosely understood. She was one that said. I told them I was underwhelmed at how many organizations and the industry looked at IT. but the solution is clear. if anything. the third thing is business value. “You know. Bohlen: Then. business continuity because that’s what we grew up with. some of which are counterproductive to each other. I’ve seen these pilots have different technology directions. including security.” Yourdon: Right. I got to know Jim Womack really well in my last job. He has influenced me to focus first on making clear the problem we’re trying to solve. Yourdon: Really? Bohlen: Yes. they came back and said. grab hold of ERM. I have been helping improve ways to manage infrastructure. So. So you get a lot of little pilots. But you know how it goes. Ken. “You’re right. the grid. The other is technology. the power. interviewed in Chapter 10]. I see many IT executives are now becoming subservient to CFOs.” I also find myself speaking more at conferences trying to energize potential future CIOs to get out of the techie world in the business environment. Yourdon: Ahh. I met with 19 CIOs. Yourdon: Interesting. Overall technology direction always needs to be very clear. people see something new at a latest gizmo/whiz-bang show 215 . I’m not throwing dollars at technology. That’s why APS is a new. what I’m finding is that people really don’t know what problem they’re trying to solve. but it’s my opinion that. I sometimes find we already have technology that would indeed answer a problem. Bohlen: Who better to run that than people that have grown up managing the growth of this tremendous infrastructure called the Web in our company infrastructure? So. I jumped back in as a way to “give back.” I understand you’re talking with Becky Blalock [of Southern Company. Bohlen: I think that’s one of the components. “You’re absolutely right. Inside this arena. exciting challenge for me.CIOs at Work ground. grab hold of disaster recovery. Much to my surprise.

It provided a third-party source of data our organization could refer to as we promoted the necessary changes. just keeping the lights on. Yourdon: Wow. but I think this nice tool will help me. that certainly makes sense. Which is very high from the industry group I came from. Directionally. this gave me the areas that we needed to go attack. And that gave me a baseline to begin directing my efforts. I hired a benchmarking company. for the internal IT operation? Bohlen: If you look at my budget. Bohlen: You know. So one of the values that I’ve added is that we are not doing projects unless we understand the business value. It was the old—I call it the 1970s’ management style—they would yell and scream until IT felt that they needed to come to the requestor. “We don’t know the problem we’re trying to solve. the organization had accumulated hundreds of different applications products. it’s the kind of thing we all talk about. Yourdon: Hmm. Bohlen: Well. finance. . I’d sound like a wolf crying at the bottom of a hill.216 Chapter 11 | Ken Bohlen: Vice President and CIO. Yourdon: [laughter] Now. Allied Signal. Yourdon: Right. and Textron. IT really didn’t drive that before. interesting. Bohlen: So. I used them at John Deere. So how big a job is that. part of the reason for that is the previous discussion. standing on a platform without data. Otherwise. so to speak. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) and suddenly the organization finds itself trying to incorporate new technologies. over 60 percent of my budget is keeping the lights on. we were fourth quartile. As business people. and now I brought them in to help us at APS. Bohlen: I was able to point out that we were extraordinarily high on the applications compared to peer groups of our size. They performed a benchmark for IT. that it wasn’t just my personal opinion or a pet project. compared to other world-class companies. And I just don’t do that. but what I’m beginning to learn is that that’s not uncommon in a lot of utility spaces. that’s an opportunity for improvement. I assume you are also in charge of the thousands of desktops and servers with which all APS employees get their job done every day. however. Well. This is one of the first times I’ve experienced it. and HR. I always like to operate from a base of facts.” So over a period of time. Yourdon: Okay. it also showed that we’ve got a lot of opportunity. as CIO.

you can’t do that. and if it trickles up into the enterprise. What we’re trying to do is get outside of the security/privacy issues in the workplace. All of that we’re trying to eliminate in giving people freedom.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Hmm. IT has always been in the role of saying. We did the traditional return on investment and looked at what we needed to invest. you’ll give me x dollars a month and I just put the package on my own home computer. fascinating. but it’s been really good. the iPhones. No. and I don’t have to use this other stuff?” That’s exactly right. we’ve got to support desktops.” When we had green screens and then Apple came out and the Intel machines.” and then it took off. We don’t care what kind of smartphone you get as long as it’s within a certain family. Bohlen: What we’re doing is transitioning from the company buying personal-asset laptops. Yourdon: Because it was very expensive and very scarce. they’re building things for the consumer marketplace first and foremost. Bohlen: Yes. “You know. and therefore it had to be controlled.” Then we went to distributed computing. so we are providing incentives for people to say. Fascinating. and it’s fascinating to see how everyone is grappling with this. It’s been very successful. the iPads. to the employees buying them themselves. We are doing it in phases so we don’t tax the team as we do it. we first said.” Yourdon: Ahh.” And. because it is an unstoppable tidal wave in many cases. “No. “No. What we did was unique and different for me. you’re experiencing that from the other side because all these people walk in your 217 . that’s wonderful—but we start with the consumer. So what I’ve developed here is a program called “Just Say Yes. We’re using products like Citrix and GoodLink. Yourdon: Well. “You mean. that’s their legal responsibility. I’m certainly hearing conversations of that sort from just about everybody I’ve spoken to. we’ve had the program in place for about four months and it’s been positively accepted. you’re right. So I spoke to the CIO of Google. Yourdon: And it’s interesting to see how this correlates with the industry that’s providing the devices and apps. “No. we’ve got to test them. who said. like Apple. “Now at Google and Microsoft and all these other places. but what was really adding to the overall support cost was all these other apps. we said. in the old days we used to build things for the enterprise and hope that it would trickle down to the employees. you can’t do this.” Bohlen: Yes. so we have a secured venue into the device. of course. And he said. Bohlen: So yes. What the person does with it outside of that controlled environment.

Okay. so. regardless of whether you say no or not. but you’ve obviously been in the industry a long time. So one of my desires is to try to understand what’s happening with government legislation. Bohlen: It’s more an issue in the hard-line manufacturing/R&D companies. but that’s a significant paradigm shift. (U. . Arizona Public Service Company (APS) door holding something in their hand that they bought at home and that they’re bloody well determined to use. and I think the tools that are associated with analytics can help present patterns and paths and directions that can allow for more informed decision making. 1 2 International Traffic in Arms Regulations. four years out. is all it’s going to take is one security breach of a significant magnitude that’s going to spin companies into a tailspin and they’re going to bring their data back to a resident location? Yourdon: Ahh. but very important and critical. You know. and we’ve all seen enormous things happening over the last 30 or 40 years. For instance.) Department of Defense. Yourdon: Yeah. but also in the energy/utility spaces—but all it takes is one. What we’re seeing more and more in this cloud computing environment is an opportunity to have storage of our company data in diverse locations. Some of the ITAR1 relationships that we have in the DoD2 world are cumbersome.” So being an older person. Another is analytics. I think that we have a huge opportunity because there’s so much data that needs to be turned into information. And that can change so rapidly and change everything that’s going on. seeing some cycles. I think it is. I think we’re going to see a huge move— now this could be “what you are now” is “where you were back when. “Paradigm shift” is a term that’s overused a bit. Bohlen: I love it.S. and you’re going to have legislation. Yourdon: Hmm. over the next few years? Bohlen: That’s a tough one. I’m beginning to wonder about what is going to happen. And I think those are the kinds of things that I think three.218 Chapter 11 | Ken Bohlen: Vice President and CIO. interesting. I didn’t put the two together. But I’m curious to let you speculate on what kinds of paradigm shifts or major things we should look forward to in the future. that could be a concern. and that really is the next whole area I wanted to get into is.

We are also seeing the true emergence of these home entertainment or smart home concepts. And Google as a company is … well. That was the second one. So everybody is kind of an IT wizard—I won’t say “professional. So it’s a whole different set of assumptions and expectations and experiences. So I gather you think this move into cloud computing is one example where there are going to continue to be a lot more changes and things. for various reasons. GE’s got one. Bohlen: I think that may create a tough leadership role in the future. I watch my grandkids: 13. you never take true advantage of the technology until you get rid of the traditional management over the top of it and usher in a new one. 14 years old. They’re growing up with this thing that is significantly different. but when I talked to the CIO of Google—it’s staggering to see. Control4’s got one. I’m sorry. You and I are of the same generation. Yourdon: Yeah. This is an interesting dialogue because historically. and yet we know that renewables like solar and wind. Bohlen: I think analytics is going to have a place in it. even tougher than what we’ve got today. the average age must be 25. I think. and you said analytics. probably only can make up 15 percent of our consumption by 2025. Being a professionally educated IT person doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best equipped. in some cases they’re starting at a much younger age than they were before. and as all the case studies suggest. Bohlen: One of the things that we see at the utility is that that customers are going to consume more and more energy.” Yourdon: Hmm. Another I’m beginning to sense is just the huge opportunity that exists for what I’d call “home computing. Honeywell’s got some.CIOs at Work Bohlen: The third one I see is the generational issue inside of the companies. 219 . where you can begin to marry your thermostat to energy consumption models.” but they’ve got an opinion because they’ve used it. Any other major things you’d add to that? Oh. including IT. Well. Yeah. because they’re graduating accounting majors who have computing tools they use on the side. but we’ve got coal that we don’t necessarily want to promote and provide. I think there’s a revolution about to happen in that arena. so that during peak load times. back to this issue of paradigm shifts. So how do we usher in the new leaders? Yourdon: Well. you can cycle air conditioning and appliances differently.

in this environment. Bohlen: So all of a sudden. I see what you’re saying. But this idea of contributing knowledge into some form that can be accessed by humanity is arguably what Google is all about. One of the things I’ve pondered recently here is: are there unintended consequences to free knowledge and growing knowledge? And my reference point is as I looked worldwide—I’ve managed engineering centers in India. ’cause we’ve been talking about it for 40 years. Yourdon: Yeah. When you mentioned Google. If you can put the thermostat readings on their TV so they can actually program and control it. an opportunity to take advantage of free brainpower and extra time to contribute to society things like Wikipedia or Linux. you can now put … home systems in play for under a thousand bucks. For that matter. and several other organizations. we didn’t learn stuff because they were secret from you and me—because our parents said. so they’re kind of open. you and I growing up. they’re not old enough. by the way. I think they would actually do that. calls a “cognitive surplus”—that is. and that was the notion that for the first time in history. “Why didn’t I think of that?” Yourdon: Interesting. the intellectual capability to interpret things. we have what one futurist. too—and I began looking at what parents and grandparents were struggling with. a guy by the name of Clay Shirky. you’ve got the boomers that dabble with technology. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) Yourdon: Ahh. you reminded me of one other suggestion that I heard from Google in this area of paradigm shifts. I haven’t heard that one from anyone before. “Well. interesting. too. Yourdon: Ahh. I think that’s a social environment that we haven’t really thought through. that will be interesting to watch if it develops. with the technology that we have and everything else. Bohlen: I agree with that. . there’s a market that I think the Googles or a different marketing franchise unit is going to come in and people are going to knock themselves on the head and say. but maybe we’re being driven by economic forces to really start getting serious about it. And the economics. to your point. the entire open software thing is one example. And it led me to the thought that there is pervasive information before they’re willing to have the maturity. We’re going to wait. Well.” In today’s day and age. Bohlen: I think we are.220 Chapter 11 | Ken Bohlen: Vice President and CIO. with their children and grandchildren. and that just didn’t exist a generation ago. So as an example. You know.

of course. it was just taken for granted that children would learn from their parents. but it gets back to that point we have all this data. IT is right in the middle of that also. which we’ve been joking about for 10 or 20 years. may no longer be the source of information. And then there was a shift where the older and younger generations have to learn at the same time. Well. information. So it’s a huge transformation in that sense. Because it’s always there and they have no idea what the bill is—so I think you’re certainly right about that and you’re 221 . there’s a feeling that the younger people are more energy-conscious. Bohlen: For example. Her point was that a couple of generations ago. They learn how to operate the TV remote controls before their parents. Today.CIOs at Work Bohlen: Because the information is so pervasive that the parents are no longer. Yourdon: They both show up here in the United States. so they don’t care when they get it if it’s cheaper. I grew up in the ’50s. does any of that directly affect your industry? Bohlen: I think it will and it does. Yourdon: There’s a set of terms. They may be even less energy-conscious as long as they get what they want in terms of data. So I’m looking at humanity as an experiment and saying. It happens particularly with immigrant communities. Margaret Mead. We are all just learning how to interpret it. Now. Yourdon: Ahh. and of course. Bohlen: Yeah. what’s going to happen here?” because we’ve changed the very knowledge transfer of nuclear families. Yourdon: You know. my kids wander from room to room and the entire house looks like a Christmas tree. Okay. some of the data doesn’t show that. And she argues that we’re now in a new area—the prefigurative culture—where the parents have to learn from the children because the technology is changing so rapidly that the kids pick it up first. or the grandparents or the nuclear family. and I think we’re seeing that more and more as the new generation comes up. vocabulary from an anthropologist. you turn out the lights—because electricity was expensive. and we were smacked on the hand if necessary to remind us that when you leave a room. and they’ve all got to learn the language and customs and so on. much as you just said. there’s a trivial example of that. And the parents are struggling because they have to abandon old habits and assumptions. “well. So there’s some interesting debates that need to occur after we synthesize the data. cofigureative. which is more difficult for them to do. and prefigurative culture. about a postfigurative.

Bohlen: Basically. Okay. I’m not. And that’s bothersome to me because I think frequently the little things we should be doing—should I be worrying about it. so you’re concerned about the things we’re not even aware that we should be worrying about. He said. But there are some people out there trying to destroy our way of life. to the dark side of the force. The things I don’t know and you know are things that I try to discover. Yourdon: You know. or the kid in Moscow who’s trying to break into your system. Bohlen: It primarily comes from my work in the Department of Defense days. that’s my private world. there’s a related point that I heard from Google once again. Yourdon: Yeah. That’s what worries me. And then there are things you don’t know and I don’t know. and you still have to worry about that at . And the more I know. Let me switch gears to the opposite side of this discussion we’ve been having.” Bohlen: Yes. I think you’re right. What are the problems and things that keep you awake at night in terms of IT? Bohlen: I think the Johari Window—are you familiar with that? Yourdon: No. Yourdon: Okay. There are the known knowns and the known unknowns and so on. So as an example. what are we doing on these channels or these distribution hubs or these remote locations?” When you think about the value or the criticality of them. we tend to operate best when we have a burning platform. that’s what Donald Rumsfeld called the “unknown unknowns. Yourdon: We used to have a lot of conversations about that sort of thing when we were planning for Y2K ten years ago. Bohlen: You know. The things I know and you don’t know. You deal with that. and that platform’s not quite there yet. what’s the potential of terrorists blowing up a microwave hub channel that would cut out power? I just don’t know what I don’t know. The CIO there said it was humbling to realize just how much power could be brought to bear against you by an entire country. unfortunately. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) probably right that we just don’t know what data could be telling us because we haven’t analyzed it properly. Very interesting. and you’re familiar with the war games. “It’s one thing to deal with hackers. you know? But those do from time to time cause me to sit up and shoot off a quick e-mail saying. they’re huge. in the American culture particularly. the more I can make sure I protect myself or protect our society. “Guys. the things I know and you know are public.222 Chapter 11 | Ken Bohlen: Vice President and CIO.

But we’ve seen this massive switch. Yourdon: I interviewed the CIO of the New York Stock Exchange. as is Google. wouldn’t that be cool?” Bohlen: Right. and he said. it allows you to ask the “dumb” questions. that’s terrifying. Bohlen: The other one that I think I’ve always been vigilant on is not becoming complacent with where we are today. so it’s security on kind of a grand scale that still worries you. various other organizations. And in some ways. Keeping people on edge— because I think if you don’t. Yourdon: Yeah. “You know. came out of the young group.” and my “Just Say Yes” program. we’re a very visible target. is listening more carefully to the younger people coming into the organization. I think if you ask by having somebody coming from outside the industry like myself. Bohlen: You’re right. okay. I’m accustomed to planning for things nine months. But when you’ve got a whole bloody country focusing its attention on you. Yourdon: Right. clearly. “Why do we do that? Why is that important? Why did we do it way back when? Do we still need to do it today?” Yourdon: Right. I’ve got them sponsored and I keep giving them the opportunity to keep telling me what I don’t know so that we can provide leadership for the company. as are. The other answer I heard in that area. as a matter of fact. “If I can make all of Arizona go dark. it’s too easy to make assumptions. That’s a very good point. they call them “skip levels. so I give them all the kudos. 223 . very much of concern to CIOs in almost any industry is the risk of losing touch with existing parts of your marketplace. Now it’s Twitter. which I’m pretty sure you would agree with.CIOs at Work night.” Especially if you’re very visible. a year out. energy companies in general are because of the attractive consequences that a terrorist might contemplate. the other aspect of that that I would think would be very.” And I guess to some extent. You know. They don’t even go to blogs. Bohlen: I’ve got several focus groups. Blogs were a big thing for a long period of time. You know. Yourdon: Well. but also new parts of your marketplace. as is Microsoft. you know. ten months. We do it. Bohlen: And you’ve got to be quick.

1 million customers. you go to Yelp—it’s bizarre to me. For example. We’re trying to gain some experience from the rest of the organization and other utilities. what do you want the recipient to do?” Yourdon: Yeah. We’re going through discussions now inside the company. there certainly are examples of that kind of situation that I’ve seen. But you’re right.1 million customers. Yourdon: Yeah. Well. Our challenge is to figure out. You’ve got to have the input of that generation because it is different. The young kids in particular don’t like spam. We’ve got 1. and I keep asking. and I don’t think we’ve got a good model yet. what do we do with it? What do we want them to do with it? How long do we keep it?” That’s where analytics will really come into play. Is there anything of that nature that might be relevant for you? Bohlen: I think that is something that is available. We’re not a large utility so to speak. Because that’s another thing you learn. because if you think about it today. Do we send out national alerts to our people on those high-energy days? So that’s what we’ve been talking through. why are we going to do that? Have we really looked at it? So there’s a lot of old generational thinking and new value creation thinking that needs to occur. Finding restaurants now. So you can’t get on these wild goose chases where you’ve got to tweet everything. And that’s actionable and it conveys information back to the organization that they would otherwise not have known. They like stuff coming from people they know or it’s actionable and meaningful to them. That’s beginning to change with the smart meters. Should we be able to tweet high-power days out to our customer base so they can go and turn some of their lights or appliances off? So we’ve had those kinds of discussions and dialogs. where you get instantaneous data. So we want to be mindful of how we do that. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) Bohlen: And you’ve got to be extremely sharp on the latest things that are coming out.224 Chapter 11 | Ken Bohlen: Vice President and CIO. so that we don’t annoy our audiences. “Do we want it every 15 minutes? Do we want it every 30 minutes?” Then the question is. the San Diego Fire Department used Twitter as a mechanism for allowing citizens to report in brush fires and these terrible fires that they have in the fall with everything getting very dry. That’s a whole new revolution beginning to occur. we typically learn first about outages through telephone services. . Bohlen: We look at what specifically we can do beforehand. “So if you send it. “If we get that data every 15 minutes from 1.

Some of my first meetings when I was at my previous company with the new-generation people is that they would ask questions that cause you to think: “Well. “Okay. that really shook me. 225 .” They said. I think I have learned from that. why do you send out meeting notices and expect all of us to attend the meeting? Don’t you think that’s a lot of wasted time. oh yeah. Bohlen: The other thing I found is that they’re a whole lot more concerned and interested in teams. It’s the first confirmation I’ve gotten. In one case. Yourdon: Ahh. Carl Wilson.” I’ll tell you. young ones. We’re all in this together. and you don’t have to waste all of our time in meetings. kind of an alert. what are you guys talking about? Why do you have these meetings to discuss security issues?” is an example.” Yourdon: Well. Let’s see. why don’t you send it out as an e-mail message to everybody. let us all respond and dialogue. That way you’ll get people feeding off of each other and you’ll get ideas. I want to shift back to a topic we’ve talked about a little bit already and from a couple of different perspectives: this whole thing about the new generation. Do you have any concerns about how they use technology or how they think about technology? Bohlen: Not necessarily concerns. we’re not staying. energy. So I said. I wanted to keep two of them. It’s very much— Bohlen: Yeah. … We hired on together. I heard first from the CIO of Marriott Hotels that teams are being hired together. you talked to Carl? Yourdon: Yeah. I’ve asked several other people and I’ve gotten a blank stare. then what should I do?” “Well. I find it very intriguing. I had eight engineers. “Well. I’m seeing their social media initiatives brought into the work environment that had the potential for changing the way we do work.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Exactly. I’m glad you mentioned that. then. we’re going to probably have to let go. and effort? Well. We’ve bonded. That is a good point. We can do it as a matter of course in our workday. so we told the two that we wanted to keep… “The other six. interesting. Bohlen: He and I have shared similar examples that it just blows you away.”—and at that time we were using a blog—“And we can respond from there. because all of a sudden. the younger generation coming in.

Texas—huge operations we had there. Bohlen: Yeah. . Yourdon: Do you have any concerns about how they work or what their loyalties or energies or anything else might be? Bohlen: Well. it did go on because. We were recruiting from the local colleges because the kids didn’t want to leave those areas. Bohlen: I think the coasts were different. I didn’t find that as prevalent. interesting. I certainly agree with that. When I was in Rhode Island. They wanted to stay close to their moms and dads. Kansas. I don’t know if you’ve seen a book written by two friends of mine. Bohlen: Exactly. 3 [Dorset House (Second Edition). Yourdon: [laughter] Yeah. the environment where they grew up. again. But I think your point is that this new. They don’t have any loyalty. in Providence. They wanted to have a say in that which. I had some experience with this in Wichita. it does. Yourdon: Yes. Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister. particularly the educated group of people we’re addressing—many of them are family-bound or root-bound. I think that I’ve worked my way through it. but I’ve also found. you would hold that close to your vest in the traditional management style. unfortunately. younger generation is more and more resistant to just sort of buckling under and doing things the old way. some of these kinds of issues in the IT field in particular have been discussed and debated for some 20 years now. Yourdon: All of those topics are still relevant today because there are still a lot of organizations that insist on doing things in a very traditional way. Interestingly. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) Yourdon: Yeah. that’s been true for 20 years also. I had not heard that before. The other one I ran into was when we started working through the teams of people and trying to figure out who should get what compensation. Bohlen: Yes. Or they saw what happened in their families. and Fort Worth. called Peopleware3. but why should they? We’ve taught them not to. 1999]. I certainly have heard of teams demanding to stay together. However. Yourdon: Ahh.226 Chapter 11 | Ken Bohlen: Vice President and CIO. which—when they finish one project and want to go on to another—which runs afoul of the HR policies in a lot of organizations. Bohlen: I do think that they are a whole lot more mobile.

in addition to that. chatting with a bunch of young people. Yourdon: A generation ago. So they’d hire from Brown and Bryant. “What are you doing in Iowa?” These are geeky kinds of companies. I made offers to kids to go to Fort Worth or to go to Wichita. You had to go to Silicon Valley and find some rich person to give you a million dollars and then you did an IPO—but I could give you a long list of these Web 2. Yourdon: Interesting. we’re staying right here.” I said. I was just back in the Midwest at John Deere in Iowa again. I said.” And maybe that’s a Midwest as opposed to coast issue. So the shift is significantly different for me. “Well. but they wouldn’t go.0 companies that have been started up on somebody’s credit card with a spare computer that they had in the garage. that’s true. They want to stay in the valley. I know why they didn’t want to go to Wichita. one of the things we’ve begun to see with the Web 2. you know. there are those highly motivated people I think will go wherever the jobs are and they’ll grow through it. and they’re working through some analytics and open-source modules and what have you. entrepreneurial startup people. but that was another issue. because Iowa is a great place to be from. “Do you want to go where the action is?” “No. you’re missing out on the huge opportunity of capital.0 industry is that they don’t need millions of dollars to get started. And that means you can do it in Iowa. that community is very family-oriented. Even if it involves a lower-paying job than might be available in Silicon Valley? Bohlen: Yes. Bohlen: Well.… 227 . I don’t want to leave. Bangalore or any other number of places around the world. so. “No. And I said. but you’re not going to run into millionaires just willing to invest capital in startups. too. Yourdon: Would that still be true in today’s economy? Bohlen: I find it in Phoenix with ASU [Arizona State University] students. or for that matter. I don’t know. you did. Yourdon: Well.” But they have no interest.CIOs at Work again. you know. and.

we’ve got just a couple of minutes left. which are tiny little vignettes that are 30 seconds or a minute long because that’s all a 5-year-old kid feels like concentrating on—and it stays with them all the way through their education these days. but … Bohlen: But the depth of that knowledge was very light. Yourdon: Well. and I think part of what we’re doing is giving back to the profession. Yourdon: Ahh. So I do think that we’re seeing Geraldo’s “dumbing down of America. consciously and unconsciously. It’s something I began to hear about a while ago with something as innocent as Sesame Street. And by the way. okay. and they may not be interested or perhaps even capable of deep intellectual concentration. their attention span is five minutes. So maybe there’s a little prejudice from my “what you are now is where you were when” perspective. which is in support of that. particularly in North American universities. who was the CIO of the Defense Department and the CIO of Xerox and NASA and a few other places. So math and sciences. Yourdon: [laughter] The only negative thing that I have heard and the reason I kept asking about this actually comes from a man named Paul Strassmann [interviewed in Chapter 16]. so these are one of those social unknowns I was talking about before. Is that something you see at all? Bohlen: I’ve seen a correlation to that.” And I think the kinds of attention spans also are adding to that. depth in knowledge and skills. are skills and avenues that require deep thought. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) Bohlen: You’re right and I agree with the context—they communicate on a worldwide basis. Math and science. is significantly less than other worldwide training programs. and I wanted to wrap things up with what I hope will be an appropriate final question and that is: where do you see yourself going from here? Bohlen: Carl Wilson [the recently retired CIO of Marriott International] and I chatted about this about a month ago. The reason I’d go to India is because I couldn’t find enough skilled aerospace labor here in the United States. They expect to get everything instantaneously from Google. So. He’s very concerned about what he regards as kind of a superficial intellectual level of today’s generation. Yourdon: Ahh.228 Chapter 11 | Ken Bohlen: Vice President and CIO. we’re unconsciously doing it. .

I’ve done enough of that. who has just retired also and is going through similar kinds of questions for himself. But that’s what we do in our private world. the desktop. Yourdon: [laughter] Bohlen: While I miss the global environment. I’ve been trying to get IT professionals to think about business in the terms of business. that’ll be interesting to see how it plays out for you and for Carl—and there’s another gentleman. when will you be ready to go on to other stuff. the University of Miami CIO. Carl Wilson and I chatted about that. Yourdon: That’s interesting. Arizona. Being a chief innovation officer. Bohlen: [laughter] You know. because I thought I want to expand my mind. Yourdon: That’s true. And I’m very concerned that today’s IT people don’t understand the value that they can bring to their organizations. And many companies are being led and directed by traditionalists or boomers that don’t really understand the technology movement and therefore aren’t rewarding the IT people appropriately or rightly. Greek and Hebrew. I’m into teaching the next generation. Bohlen: So I’m really on a campaign to push that message. So that’s one of the things. That’s one of the things I’ve been doing. “Okay. Bohlen: The dialogue my wife and I are having is like. All the stuff we talked about. I don’t know if I want to travel anymore. I’m a life learner. being in Scottsdale. Yourdon: Well. So I’m now taking seminary classes. is kind of nice because people come out here frequently. trying to do some public speaking. Can we work with groups like Concourse or Strive to get young leaders aware of the business language. Am I interested in another CIO? No. So. not at all. nor do they understand the value and the worth that their organizations are to the companies.CIOs at Work Bohlen: So. It’s a nice place to visit. you’ve got to re-create yourself. so I’ll be watching to see where all of you end up. 229 . like retirement and grandkids?” So. I said. I took a step.” So I’ve decided to go back to school again. it’s interesting. I told Carl. “You know. yes. I speak frequently at Gartner events. Yourdon: Hmm. we’ve got to do that. I get a ton of opportunities for this at APS and to speak nationally.

And with that. I really appreciate it. I think I will wrap this up. Ed. . Nobody else has told me a story along those lines. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) Bohlen: So that’s been a very interesting dialogue.230 Chapter 11 | Ken Bohlen: Vice President and CIO. a complete change of agendas and learning. that certainly is unique. Bohlen: Thanks. I certainly appreciate your taking the time. Yourdon: Well. Yourdon: Thanks again. so that’s one that I’m intrigued with right now.

Roger Gurnani: Right. Before being named to his current position in October 2010. I grew up in IT. where he is responsible for information technology strategy. as you said earlier? . Verizon Roger Gurnani is Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Verizon Communication Inc. Gurnani is one of the founding officers of Verizon Wireless. So. development. and then… Yourdon: Starting as a [systems] analyst. Yourdon: Is this your first position as a CIO. at Verizon? Gurnani: Uhh. Ed Yourdon: So. He previously served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Bell Atlantic Mobile. why don’t we start with the background? People do seem to be curious as to how a CIO gets into his or her position. Gurnani was Senior Vice President of New Product Development for Verizon Wireless and was responsible for the innovation. and GTE at the company’s inception in 2000.. and commercialization of consumer and business products. helping to oversee and complete the integration of the domestic wireless operations of Bell Atlantic.CHAPTER 12 Roger Gurnani Executive Vice President and CIO. systems development. I was the CIO at Bell Atlantic Mobile. and operations. no. Until 2005 he served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer. So. right. most of my career. you know. because you obviously weren’t born into it. Vodafone AirTouch.

So I got an early start with a startup business. And then the last six years I did other stuff. Yourdon: Ahh. which is the corporate—I’ve been in this role for about five months now. there’s been an opportunity to interact with a lot of different players—new players. Lowell McAdam. Then I did new product development for Verizon Wireless. maybe a few weeks in Accounting/ . entering into our industry.232 Chapter 12 | Roger Gurnani: Executive Vice President and CIO. my first job getting out of college was working for a German manufacturing company that had hired me and put me in a fast-start program. Yourdon: That certainly is true. Verizon Gurnani: Yeah. 10 or 11 years. Was there anybody that inspired you earlier in your career? Gurnani: You know. Today it’s grown in the last 15 years. I was telling you about CASE tools back in the ’80s. But then I joined Bell Atlantic. They had moved into telecommunications by laying out fiber optics. you know. and after a couple of years I became the CIO of Bell Atlantic Mobile. the last ten years or so. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of different people. I ran the Western Division of Verizon Wireless for a few years. okay. Yourdon: I can imagine. So that’s been my path to CIO. you know. I did like three weeks in the Sales department. yeah. I was with the Williams Companies. One. and you worked on many different projects. Ivan Seidenberg. My current role as the CIO for Verizon Communications. Through my career. Gurnani: So the first six. when we started laying fiber optic cables. I would say. if you will. It seems like I’ve learned some things from every boss I’ve had. So that’s how my telecom career from an IT perspective started. But here in the last. Gurnani: And. I’ve worked with them and watched them and learned from them. I guess a couple of things helped me. Yourdon: One of the other things people seem to be quite interested in is the whole question about role models. a month in Manufacturing. which gave me some other opportunities. I have had many different bosses. which was a very small wireless operation at that time in the mid-’90s. eight months. And I guess there’s been just so much change in our industry. I would say I’ve certainly learned a lot from our CEO. Did you have any special training? Does one go to CIO School to learn how to become a CIO? Gurnani: I don’t think there’s training per se. I ran Sales and Operations. but it’s really on the job. so it’s been an opportunity to learn from those guys as well. and our COO. so I was fortunate to grow with that business as the CIO.

And that gave me a very good. 233 . Certainly. so we’re organized in consumer telecom business. but also in the first few assignments after. the systems and streamline not only the IT side of things. Gurnani: Right. you get to see a wide spectrum of things going on. so you get to see quite a variety of things. That is interesting. Yourdon: So that is handy. Yourdon: Sure. Yourdon: Hmm. So that came in very handy when Bell Atlantic Mobile merged with Nynex Mobile and then when we formed Verizon Wireless. learning in my career. but also the business side of things. and obviously you have to interact with the business peers in all different parts of the company. That’s really helped me. The next thing that happened was when Williams Companies started WilTel. Gurnani: Right. not only in university. What about your current position as a CIO now? If you had to summarize your role in helping to make Verizon more successful. ten years later. they’ve got enormous systems that have got to be consolidated or they have to just pick one and turn the other one off or lots of variations. which was bringing in lots of different companies together. So that experience in a small scale came in very handy about eight. We probably did like 20 acquisitions in 5 or 6 years. enterprise business. but I certainly have seen it. As you say. Gurnani: I think that was probably foundational. especially in the Wall Street area. right? Yourdon: That’s an interesting point that I’ve not heard from any of the other CIOs that I’ve interviewed. a few weeks in IT working on very quick projects. wireless business. When these enormous financial services companies merge. the telecommunications business. broad perspective on how businesses work. the one theme that I’ve been hearing quite a lot is the value of a broad educational background. Gurnani: We were putting together the largest wireless operations in the country. And I got the opportunity to integrate these smaller organizations —and integrate the IT portfolios.CIOs at Work Finance department. what would it be? Gurnani: So my role right now—I have business unit CIOs. working on a sales proposal or sales bid or a quick design program for IT or whatever. Yourdon: Because I’m sure once you get into your current position.

running the western part of Verizon Wireless. Gurnani: So that experience really helped me a lot. Yourdon: I can imagine. That was pretty mind-boggling. . and then for two years doing new product development. particularly marketing. making sure IT is very well aligned with the business objectives. and I’d never heard of call forwarding and call waiting and caller ID and all these things. both from a business standpoint as well as from a business process standpoint. Obviously. Yourdon: Ahh. wholesale. Now people spend more time interacting with their mobile devices than they do with their computers and stuff. but taking new products from concept to commercialization. Gurnani: With the business leaders. you try to look at things from the customers’ viewpoint: what do our customers want? And I tell you. 4G is coming. with the business goals. Gurnani: So the three years that I spent running all of our sales channels and operations. okay. But this has become mainstream. okay. okay. But what I spend a lot of my own time on is IT strategy: how do we drive IT forward? A lot of time on alignment. Verizon shared services. How do we take advantage of that? What would customers benefit from?” Working with others in the company as well. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Having grown up in IT and then spending six years and then doing other jobs. “Well. I remember visiting a telephone company in Phoenix. I think has given me new perspectives on how to better leverage IT. Gurnani: Yeah. each one of these business units has a CIO. six years that I spent outside of IT. looking at our business objectives and seeing what change needs to happen to achieve those objectives. mobile technology has obviously become mainstream. So either thinking that. So. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. And I have to imagine that kind of process continues on—there’s going to be another generation of mobile technology next year or next week or the next decade. It is only about 20 years old. what’s really helped me is the five. You know.234 Chapter 12 | Roger Gurnani: Executive Vice President and CIO. etc. And then we have a team that runs all our IT infrastructure. Yourdon: Ahh. Gurnani: So that’s how my function is organized. This was about 1991 and they were showing me kind of the next generation of technology.

no.” 235 1 Verizon FiOS is a full fiber-optic-based service to a customers home with bundled voice. So. So everything is getting digitized with the amount of information and data that people want to consume. long-term evolution technology-based smartphone. Internet. Yourdon: Wow. we’re seeing exponential growth with data consumption. Gurnani: And then obviously we rolled out fiber to customers’ homes with our FiOS1 product. There’s a lot of innovation that’s going on with networks. we’ve gone from a 2G to 3G to 4G now. multimedia. the first LTE. And some of the capabilities it has are very high-end games. . Gurnani: Whether it’s pictures. no. and I’ll give you a couple of examples. attractive games that you can play with people that are literally across the country. as to the CIO’s role in helping shape or support information-based products. From a wireless perspective. it creates huge new opportunities to create new innovative products and services. And if you put all these things together. you’re talking about this [interview] is going to get recorded as an MP3 file.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Yeah. New phone factors. there’s a lot of innovation that’s going on there. It’s just amazing. music. It’s only in the early ’80s when personal computing came about. Yourdon: With each one of those? Gurnani: With each one of those. and so on. I asked him. The other thing that’s happening is digitization of content. because I’d be curious about your take on it. the people they track with. And you’re talking about tenfold improvements in terms of throughput capabilities. Now people want to watch movies and TV. which is in the U. I think the traditional personal computer.S. tablets. it raises an interesting question. When I interviewed the CIO of Google. So. no. Gurnani: If you think about personal computing. The devices. and digital TV. that’s not that old either. “Oh. Yourdon: Hmm. that’s happening. that’s happening. So. The capabilities that we have with FiOS are unprecedented. You know. And it is shifting very rapidly. download it through the Internet. Yourdon: Now. “Are you in charge of Google apps?” And he said. is now obsolete. so … we just announced the launch of our 4G smartphone. the desktop computer.

watch. as we roll out new interactive capabilities on our televisions through FiOS—like recently we’ve rolled out. Those teams are involved. we interact a lot with the product people. Our marketing folks are involved: how we create demand for it. So that is keeping the lights on.” It allows you to consume content from multiple screens and you can browse. all our ERP systems. from your computer in the house. product realization. So IT does the normal things that you would expect. there’s more to the back office in our business. “But we’re the first people who actually try it out. Yourdon: “That’s a product.” So is there a similar kind of situation for you? Gurnani: No.” running the factory in the background. because we’re a service-oriented company. a product which is called “FlexView. Gurnani: So. Yourdon: Tony Scott. We enable all the back-office operations. “Well. Gurnani: Well. definitely. so I have a sense of it. Yourdon: Okay. I asked him a similar question. share. and so on. IT has to be central to enabling that. you know. okay? So all our retail stores. and he said.” And when I talked to the CIO of Microsoft. how do we price it. we’re the first in line in terms of dogfooding. You know. all our online touchpoints. from your smartphones and tablets.” Gurnani: Tony Scott. for our company. so keeping the lights on is making sure all the customer-touching channels are running as well. “You know. I would say for. from your big-screen TV. more than half our customer transactions. Gurnani: So. customer interactions happen with online mechanisms. Let me give you a couple of examples. Yourdon: I refer to that as “keeping the lights on. “I keep the lights on here inside the company and do a whole bunch of other things.236 Chapter 12 | Roger Gurnani: Executive Vice President and CIO. The financials.” He said. all our centers. Yourdon: Actually. IT is a bit more involved with product development. people that build and operate our networks. Back office. That’s somebody else’s job. depending on the content. I did see a commercial of a similar or an allegedly similar capability from Time Warner on TV last night. no matter where you are connected to the Internet.” as he put it. or through cell phones. telesales. exactly. archive. Yes. purchase or rent. . There are technology groups within the company. But as it relates to new products. Verizon Gurnani: That’s a product role. making sure the product itself works … obviously it’s a collaborative effort.

whether it’s marketing or finance or customer support. So I think that it comes down to building those relationships. you’ve got people in marketing and various product groups. they don’t work for you. on the other hand.. so you can’t order them. Yourdon: Right. “So. Make sure we can collect a product. is in my view just the most important factor that measures how successful the business is in leveraging IT. As you’ve been saying. operations. it doesn’t create business results. a lot of people ask me. Gurnani: So making sure IT is totally lock-step aligned with the rest of the business. So I would say 80 percent of products we roll out have to be supported by our central IT systems. etc. And then IT has to not only be part of the product realization. That raises another related question that I’ve asked just about every CIO about. and they’re all obviously very successful people because (a) they’re smart. Gurnani: Make sure our customer support channels online and humanbased customer support channels can support the product. you know? It doesn’t create the business benefits. Yourdon: I see. which has to do with the kind of role and influence that you have on your business peers. technically speaking. no matter how good a technical system or product they create. etc. Yourdon: Okay. but also operationalize the product. but certainly not your peers.CIOs at Work etc. from product enablement. So now you’ve touched on—you know. [both laughing] Gurnani: And you know this very well: IT is more about people and relationships. but they are not totally aligned with the business objectives. and so forth. Make sure our sales channels can sell the product. Make sure we can bill and collect revenue for the products. You can order people in your own organization. 237 . But. what does it take to run IT?” And people obviously think IT is all about technology. How do you go about influencing people in terms of the technology that you think should either be used or not be used? Gurnani: Yeah. So you can have the best engineers. Yourdon: Interesting. and (b) they have very strong personalities—and yet I’m sure you’ve seen situations where you’re worried that they’re going off in the wrong direction or they’ve not seen some opportunities that they could be taking advantage of.

easier. whatever happens. who say. there were a lot of business executives. And I’ve heard similar responses from other CIOs. Gurnani: There’s so much technology that comes into play and we’re so accustomed to it that it seems natural—so there’s far greater recognition that technology is a key part of running the business today than it was twenty. 40 different companies. today’s personal environment.” Gurnani: Right. vice president– level people who couldn’t even do e-mail. Yourdon: Well. There’s. now it’s a pervasive part of life in general. 30 years ago. I would think. I encourage my people to spend a lot of time in that regard. we’re on call 24 hours a day ’cause stuff happens around the world 24 hours a day. At least. in our personal life. Obviously. any kind of information company in the broader sense of the term. then they start to trust you more. Yourdon: That’s true. as you say. And I think this thing doesn’t happen overnight. but especially in an information company. have that working rapport over an extended period of time. whether it’s marketing or business unit presidents or operations or finance people. we’re so dependent on our PDAs and smartphones and so dependent on all the entertainment is now in some form of digital interaction. thirty years ago.” Gurnani: Yeah. . you interact with probably 30. You have to build credibility. if you’re running a technology company. that has changed for everybody to some extent. But certainly. with your peers. and I think that over my 30 years—I’m rounding it to 30 years of my professional life—I have seen this become better. everything is so technology-dependent and technologyinterwoven. because when you get a track record of several of those. then it becomes easy. that’s been my experience. simply because today’s business environment. you’re more likely to have business executives who have a higher level of understanding and appreciation and so forth than might be the case if you were a widget company. All our productivity tools and what we do around the house now are all very technology-driven. “You need to look for opportunities where you can achieve some demonstrable success. A lot of the companies I’ve spoken to have some degree of global presence. As a human being. You know. and the CIOs have said to me. So once you get a couple of successful projects or a couple of successful laps. As you know. right? Yourdon: Yeah. “Basically. there’s another aspect that just occurred to me that I’d be curious about because of the news headlines every day.238 Chapter 12 | Roger Gurnani: Executive Vice President and CIO. Verizon Gurnani: So it comes down to relationships and interaction and I spend a lot of time in that regard.

which is new trends that might influence the industry in the future—cloud computing being one example. Is that right? Gurnani: We provide not only network services. Yourdon: You mentioned a familiar buzzword a few moments ago. and this is a natural for small and medium-sized businesses. That gives us a little bit of flexibility in terms of running a global around-the-clock operation. because they don’t have a large IT organization and it’s difficult for 239 . the software. they want the infrastructure. for example. Okay. on-demand. right? So. connectivity services globally. Yourdon: Ahh. And then there’s a handoff. we haven’t perfected it. we are a global business as well. So we’ve got systems work. Having been in IT most of my career. but today’s business does require that type of a model for our customers. we also provide IT solutions and now we’re getting into the cloud space as well. We’re getting better and working out the kinks. What’s happening is more and more customers want a one-stop shop and they want not only the network services. going on around the clock. but the adoption is picking up speed. which is like the “follow the sun” model. This concept is not new. We’ve got people watching the stuff and doing stuff from different parts of the world. and it’s one of the next sections that I wanted to get into. I’ve been pretty used to that. We provide those services globally. or Verizon? Gurnani: It does. flexible. Gurnani: Now. Yourdon: Wow. “There’s been another earthquake someplace?” Gurnani: Yeah. more and more customers are adopting that model. We have a global IP backbone.CIOs at Work Yourdon: How does that affect you. all together and packaged. Gurnani: We have employees around the globe. but we are maturing. Yourdon: Does that mean that you might get a phone call or an e-mail at three in the morning saying. the applications. We carry about 30 percent of the Internet traffic globally. but putting that aside. Yourdon: Aha. There’s a lot of debate about whether it really is new. okay. You know. cloud is definitely a trend. Our IT organization is also global. what kind of new technologies do you see really having a big impact on the Verizon kind of industry? Gurnani: So.

But today what’s happening is. primarily for businesses and enterprises. “How can we virtualize the device?” Yourdon: Hmm. The other trend that’s happening very fast is. getting into it because from an economics standpoint. the enterprises have their unique needs. We offer a full stack of cloud services and we’ve been pretty aggressive in expanding our capabilities in this area. It’s a different economic model. but we have been also providing the infrastructure services and now it’s the full cloud utility. Now enterprise customers are beginning to say. As the technology evolves. it becomes a personal device. So that’s a trend. to some extent that’s a form of what you were just talking about a moment ago with cloud computing.” Gurnani: The Fortune 500 are also. this is interesting. which is very well known. you know. there’s lots happening. you don’t have to spend a lot of capital. So. Verizon them to make an investment. Mobility. which runs a lot of data centers. you know. So it makes a lot of economic sense. Yourdon: Right. we provide our employees a computer and a smartphone or a tablet. in the ’80s. support it themselves. has done very well. The individual consumers have different needs. We own lots of data centers around the globe. Why can’t the employee do everything they need to do on one device?” Or. ’90s. . Recently we acquired a Terramark. information technology used to be created for. Yourdon: Well. How can you make it more secure?” All that stuff. it’s a business device. “Hey. they can be assured that they will be able to play … it’s more of a utility model if you will. “Well. The large enterprise customers are also interested in this model because the economics make a whole lot of sense. Gurnani: “When they come to work. Gurnani: So it’s definitely penetrated the small to medium segment.240 Chapter 12 | Roger Gurnani: Executive Vice President and CIO. We acquired a couple or three years ago. Cybertrust Security practice. a lot of technology is for consumers and then it’s being applied or practically pulled into the enterprise environment. that it’s initially very attractive to the startup companies and then maybe somewhat later on that the Fortune 500 companies begin to say. you know. When they go home. We obviously provide the network-based services. and going to a cloud model lets you not have to worry about upgrades.

So. So they don’t want to buy the package. They start at the consumer level. Do you see any brand-new things that we basically didn’t have five or ten years ago that will become significant trends over the next decade? Gurnani: We’re still in the early stages of those trends. That is happening. advances in devices are going to enable virtual corporations. It’s a digitized world. broadband networks. and I think we’re still in the early stages of life. etc. freedom. the consumer electronics devices—the phone you’re holding there. So the future is all about digitizing. we run our IT help desk with a lot of people that 241 .” rather than when the show comes on. Gurnani: So. and then they go up and make it more bulletproof and secure and so forth so that it has a market in the enterprise. we’re still in the early days.” Gurnani: You know. as the demand for information and data consumption continues to grow and people now are consuming and demanding lots more data. But the general trend that you mentioned a second ago is one that Ben Fried of Google mentioned to me: “Instead of starting with enterprise-oriented apps and then seeing how we can push them down to the consumer. I think it’s only going to accelerate—all the advances with networks. part of what makes this interesting. flexibility. 30 years. it used to be we created a computer. 10. the tablets and so on—created for the consumer and then very quick. right? Yourdon: Right.. and we imagine that they will continue on. what it was for the business. you won’t need buildings like these to run a large business. Yourdon: Right. Now you’re talking about digitizing healthcare records and other records. People could be anywhere.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Sure. sometime in the future. Now.” Gurnani: It’s flipped around. rapid adoption by businesses. virtual enterprises. Yourdon: Yeah. is that some of these trends have been underway for 5. and it’s only accelerating. 4G networks. We talked about how. and then pushed it down. So digitization of information—that trend. 20. For example. now it’s flipped around. they want to buy a la carte: “I want to watch this show at this time at my convenience. I think that thread is only going to accelerate. with Google Mail and Google Apps. a lot of the devices.” with Google being the classic example. Gurnani: Whereas in the old days. Yourdon: “And we’re starting off. with lots of choice.

Gurnani: And so that’s just a small example of what perhaps the future might hold. a factor of 10. Gurnani: So. Moore’s Law. There’s an old saying that if you improve technology by 10 percent. Do you see that kind of disruption taking place in the telecommunications industry? Gurnani: Well. innovation can come from anywhere. Today they’re big. our productivity levels go up. Yourdon: Ahh. new uses. how it’s manifesting itself in the business environment. Now it’s so big. . that changes the very quality of the technology. which is pretty amazing. cheaper. So if that continues—well. That’s an area that I’ve been trying to explore and I’ve had great trouble doing. like Netflix. So new business models shift in value. You know. is safe for another decade or so. So whatever we’ve got today is going to be 100 times faster. and you look at how the ecosystem continues to evolve and change.242 Chapter 12 | Roger Gurnani: Executive Vice President and CIO. it’s incremental and will kind of be ignored—but if you make it tenfold. let’s say. Yourdon: One other thing you said earlier may shed some light on it. smaller within a decade. and saying that each one of them represented a ten-fold improvement. Avis or Hertz on one side and Zipcar on the other side—’cause there’s an example where technology has facilitated an entirely different business model. In fact. And they’ve created a nice spot for themselves. four days. but I’ll give you an example: I was hoping to be able to talk to the CIO of. You have major businesses. that didn’t exist a few years ago. we’ve seen our user satisfaction scores go up. Verizon are in different places. I think. the end users. Like Apple was not in the mobile business until four years ago. as you were saying. We have the ability to route the calls to their house. for example. its value is starting to shift at very fast speeds now. from 1G to 2G to 3G and so on. And the customers. things that we can’t even imagine right now. it has and I think we’ve already gone through a couple of waves of disruption. interesting. don’t even know the difference. Three days. People do things fundamentally differently if they have to drive 30 miles per hour versus getting in an airplane and flying 300 miles per hour. people working from home—that’s happening. Mobile is huge. The other thing. new demands. the experience and so on. they can work from home. Yourdon: Right. So that will probably create. You were talking about the evolution of these networks. ’cause it’s a digital super-interconnected world.

but my wife won’t. people are spending more time in front of their mobile devices than they are in front of their stationery devices. That’s the other change that’s happened—getting feedback from customers. So there’s no doubt. a lot of capital. we talk to our younger-generation customers as well. our bedrock. They want flexibility. and people who need that at the end of the day. If they can just do something right on their mobile device and just send it in. our foundation is making sure that we build very reliable. So that’s what it’s all about. there are a lot of disruptive forces in our ecosystem. I think. over the years has become a lot easier. [laughter] Yourdon: And just watch them? Gurnani: No. but my kids will. How do you take into account the changing marketplace. However. Gurnani: We are also seeing trends—as I mentioned to you before. Wireless is good enough for them. how fast things are changing. just like everybody else. we are realizing what’s happened. Yourdon: Interesting. Yourdon: That’s true. a telephone line to the house. We started seeing that trend several years ago. We rolled out our service. We get feedback from our customers. purchase or rent and consume and share content on multiple screens. and the younger generation demonstrate those traits. state-ofthe-art networks. Yourdon: Yes. Gurnani: Which takes a lot of expertise. because we know customers want choice. yes.” It means flexibility. yes. especially from one generation to the next? Notwithstanding the technology.CIOs at Work So. 243 . we have to build that into our planning because we. apartment. which allows you to browse. I’m willing to read the newspaper on a Kindle. that’s the core part of our value chain if you will. Yourdon: Okay. So. [laughter] Yourdon: And how do you go about finding out what it is the younger generation wants or is thinking or dreaming about? Gurnani: We hire the younger generation as well. It’s called “customer is king. attitudes. in the last few years. Do you build that into your planning as well? Gurnani: I would say. or whatever. the younger generation. they don’t want a wired phone. I would not be willing to watch a movie on a tiny screen like my iPhone.

from CIOs in particular. get feedback that way. I’m biased with my view. Yourdon: They’d rather just text you than just look you in the eye and tell you something. Maybe I’m from the older generation. Now you mentioned the younger generation coming to work here. going on Facebook and talking. okay. in terms of what gets put where. I wrote down “intellectual property rights. they’re very comfortable going on Twitter. blogs or customer But in my opinion that face-to-face interaction and that teaming collaboration is still important. but one of the things that I started seeing maybe three years ago. it’s become a very central customer-engagement channel for us. You get feedback from a lot of different sources. But I think this is mostly positive. was companies just completely outlawing blogs. but there are a few things.0 world took off. . and sometimes they need to be guided a bit in terms of what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate. since part of their job is protecting the information asset. So the online properties of Verizon. Verizon Gurnani: Or go online. And I think the younger generation does not pay as much attention to that. saying that. right? I wouldn’t say there’s anything that stands out that’s something that’s a big issue. when the whole Web 2. “Basically. either in the IT department or anywhere else. Gurnani: But I didn’t know if you wanted to go down that trail or not—but you’re right. Yourdon: Interesting. Aside from their greater sense of comfort with technology or familiarity. You’re right. We’re not going to let them blog because they might allow some of these intellectual property things to get out in the open. we just don’t trust our employees. one of the things I expected was that the younger generation has less regard for the traditional kind of… Gurnani: See.” Yourdon: Ahh.244 Chapter 12 | Roger Gurnani: Executive Vice President and CIO. in my notes.” Gurnani: I think we’ve been through that phase. do you notice any other changes with the younger generation of employees that are either good or bad? Gurnani: I think it’s mostly good. Yourdon: One of the answers I expected to get in this area. Gurnani: Yes. Yourdon: Guidance certainly is quite understandable. We see some of our younger employees. interactions I think are still important. I think the social interaction and the face-to-face communications.

I think that’s something that you have to do all of the time. and they studied together. and they wanted to work together. coaching.” Now it’s more instant. guiding employees. Well. Yourdon: So they all turned it down. Gurnani: Oh. Yourdon: Okay.CIOs at Work Yourdon: That may be another example of things changing far more rapidly than they did when I was a young man.” Gurnani: No. just completely blocking. No. “You’ve had that same problem 20 years ago. “Hire all of us or none of us. and we take appropriate actions. wow. Because he was telling me about four kids who came out of MIT. so. But I think what’s more effective is training awareness. and making them understand the responsibility they have in protecting information assets and what’s the right business judgment versus not. And three of them got a job offer from some very good company. Gurnani: So I think it’s part of maturing and becoming a responsible employee. but I have seen people from MIT seem to be connected and want to do things. Yourdon: Sure. Gurnani: So we have a code of business conduct. that doesn’t work. that your employees could go out into the public and attend a technical conference or write an article for a magazine and the same issues applied. Have you seen that at all? Gurnani: As a team? Yourdon: As a team. I agree. Yourdon: That’s a good point. And I think the employers or the companies have to facilitate that. Once in a while we have a violation. worked together. 245 . So there are some controls that you have to put in place. and the other one didn’t. It’s not just the young ones necessarily. Gurnani: So they declined. maybe that was an exception then. we haven’t seen that. We do a lot of training and communicating what’s the right thing to do. I haven’t heard that. Gurnani: And in my opinion. And I’ve always said to people. And sometimes people do act in kind of an impetuous fashion without thinking about what they’re doing. learned software together. Sometimes you see even our older employees. Yourdon: There’s another aspect of younger employees that I’m curious about… a phenomenon of kids coming out of college and applying for jobs as a team.

but not everybody has the variety of devices that you’re providing to the consumer marketplace. our companies are trying to do business together and there is partnership. We have to abide by the law as well. “Within some reasonable limits. Yourdon: That’s a good opportunity that a lot of companies don’t have. Yeah. I suppose. collaboration. You have to protect. “Our employees are only allowed to have a BlackBerry or only allowed to have a Windows PC or whatever. Again. exactly right. okay? And. We obviously pick up different tips or ideas. So we practice and eat our own dog food there as well. Many times. between the . Well. That is interesting. So there may be security regulations. people who make these gadgets and make these operating systems and make the apps and services that run on these—we work with them as we see certain opportunities to improve and solidify. Yourdon: Okay.” And now they can’t impose that degree of control. strengthen security aspects. plus in many cases it’s the law. and we have certain guidelines. If one’s got a particular need.” Gurnani: Right. Now. But almost all of the CIOs I’ve spoken to have backed off and have said. And I often have this dialogue with the peer community. Period. and we were loners when I went to school there. Verizon Yourdon: [laughter] I’m an MIT graduate. You have an obligation to the customers.246 Chapter 12 | Roger Gurnani: Executive Vice President and CIO. But enterprises have to pay attention to security. you can bring any gadget you want into the office. Now you mentioned a second ago comparing notes or chatting with other CIOs—and I’d like to pursue that for just a second. They can certainly deal with guidelines and security policies and things of that sort. That’s it. you can always bounce off different ideas to see if it helps there. What about the degree of control you impose on new hires with regard to the personal devices that they either bring into the office with them or take home with them? Gurnani: We have certain standards. other CIOs—who want to restrict the devices. As long as you behave with it properly. I’m getting a consistent theme from just about everybody on that score as well. We can manage multiple devices as the security solutions work fairly well. our policies are quite open. suggestions. How important is that in your role as a CIO? Gurnani: I think it’s very important. Gurnani: Yeah. we also work with our partners. it was not too long ago that you would hear CIOs saying. given that we sell a variety of devices to the consumers. Yourdon: Yeah.

Yourdon: It makes a lot of sense. It’s really focusing on business results. Yourdon: Okay. That’s table stake. yep. And a couple of them I hired many years ago. So I always tell them. global product development. [sounds of looking through papers] Umm. what I wanted to mention to you was two of my good subordinates are ready to do my job. yep. And they’ve been with the business for a long time. I find that becoming a key part of that dialogue with the CIO community. it’s really focused on business results—but I wanted to get to one of your questions here. To answer your question. particularly because some CIOs do move around from one place to another.CIOs at Work business development executives. I think you were asking what would prevent my subordinates to do my job? Yourdon: What weaknesses might prevent them from doing a good job as the CIO? Gurnani: So. that can further along the partnership or the collaboration. between the marketing. Gurnani: So. It comes in very handy. I feel like I’ve been groomed for my job for the last many years. worldwide sales. you have to get that done. Gurnani: So getting an IT project done is not sufficient. Gurnani: Yep. and there are annual conferences and so on. whether it’s hardware vendors or software vendors or whatever—so connecting to the CIO of those vendor companies is a given. A lot of hard 247 . But then are you extracting or leveraging that IT capability to drive business results—so that’s what I. but you’re right. Long project. here it is. You got rotated into the business. “Big project. Yourdon: I would think that a CIO in any company is going to be dealing with vendors. I have a fairly seasoned team—which helps out a lot. And if you strike up a conversation between the CIOs. And I certainly have gotten the impression that there’s a fair amount of—it’s almost like a club. Yeah. you said it was CIOs of the various business units and so forth. But I think two things are important. You know. and after a while you get to know who you can call up and or e-mail to ask a question. Are there particular skills or criteria that you look for to have somebody on your team? What things really matter to you in that area? Gurnani: You know. I hadn’t thought of that. operations. encourage my team to do. Yourdon: What about the people who work with you as part of your own team? In your case. the sales executives.

A lot of times you see IT is working on stuff that’s really great stuff. okay? And what that resulted in was. “Okay.” but that’s day one of that project. you want to be a business leader. You got to get it done. within IT.” So is it driving sales? Is it driving revenue growth? Or is it driving efficiencies or product acceptance? So that’s one. So making sure IT is working on the right stuff that’s really going to matter for the business. where CIOs can make a huge. leaders. So I’ll tell you a story. my early days. a lot of internal competition and politics and it was intended to create good alignment with the business. business alignment. Yourdon: Now how can we turn that into advice for the young IT professional who’s aspiring to become a CIO 20 years from now? What would you tell him or her? Gurnani: So a couple of things there. This again goes back to the ’80s. because that’s the way the environment was. The other is really making sure you have very strong business relationship management. you had midlevel managers. you not only want to be an IT leader. It’s in production. [both laughing] Yourdon: Right. huge difference to a business. Verizon work. . what we said we’d deliver. learn the business. it was actually hurting the IT to business objectives alignment. if you think about it from a business standpoint. this is what we want. And I saw what was going on. I think that’s where I learned a few lessons about how important it is for IT and all the business functions to be totally aligned and all moving together. Gurnani: “Now we gotta make sure it’s really delivered. Good job. so I’ve worked with many different companies and had to integrate IT pieces and so on. Gurnani: As I said. Yourdon: Learn the business. and even though the business said. So those are the two things that I think are the key points. Yourdon: Okay.248 Chapter 12 | Roger Gurnani: Executive Vice President and CIO. One.” within IT there were competitive forces where—someone would try to undermine the project for the other. and this is what we are funding. Gurnani: And the second thing is. and the business people actually had to fund the projects. Okay. you know. But does it really matter for the business? You know. I’ve been through like 60 mergers and acquisitions in my career. Within IT. but what I saw was.

our business culture is such that there’s a lot of emphasis on teamwork and customer focus and results. is going through some phenomenal changes. And that’s because it’s such a large business. When I was just getting out of college. whether it’s wireless or through fiber or a global IP backbone. So digitization is creating some great new trends. [laughter] Yourdon: Okay. our industry. if there’s a minor issue. You know. concerns over the next year or two: security—obviously. millions of customers. Very interesting. Gurnani: I think your question was. “What political problems and issues do you face?” And. the old story was that AT&T/Bell Labs built stuff that lasted for 40 years. hundreds of thousands of employees. you just get the maximum leverage. global. Yourdon: Something you said earlier is relevant here. I know all the business leaders. Gurnani: No. and that gave them plenty of time to write it off. that’s almost become a core competency of ours. I’m very easily able to work through that—and having said that. and. not only in my mind. our bedrock foundation is making sure that we build very powerful and very reliable networks. so politics is not an issue per se. because everybody at the end of the day is going to need networks and the ability to communicate. issues. What is it that keeps you up at night—if there is anything that keeps you awake? [laughter] And I think I know the answer to this.CIOs at Work And if you can create an environment that does that. We talked about how value is shifting between players and if you look at what’s happened in the music industry and all that. So if. but it’s one that I’ve asked all the CIOs. you always have to keep that top of mind. And as I also mentioned earlier. maximum benefit in terms of IT. some other things I would say in that area is. Your other question on problems. okay? That’s what we do for a living. threats. all the way from the top down and across very well. I would say—I’ve been with our company for a long time. but the CFO awake at night. we talked quite a bit about that—is top of mine. You know. but everybody else’s. I’ve got some questions about problems and concerns and issues. our ecosystem. I would think that one of your possible concerns might be that the technology is changing so rapidly that you may not have enough time to amortize or to depreciate the capital investment you’ve been forced to make in these very expensive networks. Yourdon: Okay. 249 . But if a whole new generation of technology comes along three years later and you’ve already sunk x billion dollars into the previous technology—maybe it doesn’t keep you.

Verizon Gurnani: Okay. that’s a very good point. And now society obviously has begun looking at that entirely differently. four years ago. an example I would give you is. a four-year program to build up. we don’t necessarily get into the bits and bytes per se. You know. collecting customers. 50 years after they were written and probably will for another 50 years. . they are massive value shifts that happen within the ecosystem. is that we’re still running COBOL. Gurnani: But we connect the end points that the bits and bytes move between. You don’t shut down your old computer the day you bring in your new computer. but there’s no doubt as those things happen. right? So. I scribbled down another note that just occurred to me—I don’t know if it relates to your industry at all. in the early ’90s we built analog cellular networks. in legacy apps. Umm. the whole music industry rested on the idea that people respected intellectual property. We just shut down analog about three.250 Chapter 12 | Roger Gurnani: Executive Vice President and CIO. So. it’s the same thing that happens with IT or a computer in your house. doing revenue sharing. Yourdon: Okay. 12 years. So all that gets factored into how we do our planning. whether it’s a movie or a video or a song or e-mail or a voice call or a voicemail. So I don’t believe there’s something equivalent directly as it relates to telecom. but you had mentioned music before. of course. technology planning each year. maybe for a special task or something. We will produce the bits to the people who consume the bits. We don’t get involved with those. And the other thing that we do is facilitate the commerce that takes place—so billing customers. Either you give it to your kid or you keep it as a side computer. because we have still millions of customers that are still using it. or whatever the case may be. IBM and Microsoft depended on the notion that proprietary software would always be a profitable venture. Yourdon: Okay. We’re the distribution channel. so going from 2G to 3G to 4G—our 4G program is a three-year program. And the other software example. Gurnani: Okay. and our 2G is still going to be around for the next 10 years. Yourdon: Okay. Is there anything equivalent for the telecommunications world? Gurnani: Not really because we are a distribution channel for the people who create the bits and bytes and stuff. Yourdon: Well. and now open-source software changes that quite a lot. So even though new technology had been overlaid on top of the old technology.

Professionally. Intellectually. “Okay. “Okay. But I got the call. And I learned a lot. right? So we have to be agile enough to make sure that we recognize those value shifts and we don’t do anything stupid to get caught in the undercurrents. I had all the sales channels. Pretty close. a couple of things I will add. I find my job challenging. I’m busy.” 251 . PR. I just got to this job five months ago. so I’m having fun. We’ve got some challenges and some things to do. But. None of my moves throughout my career—and I know this sounds unbelievable—have been planned moves. So I’ve not had to plan my moves throughout my career. four. marketing.” Almost nobody has said that. Yourdon: Opportunities have presented themselves. and it’s kind of the obvious ending point: Where do you see yourself going next? What is life after CIO? Gurnani: I don’t know. ran Sales. My previous job I wasn’t planning to be in. I didn’t plan to be in this job. but it was close to that. so I don’t tend to worry about or think about. in new product development. I spent six years or so outside of IT. Yourdon: Pretty close. So. it’s rewarding. As I said. I was running the business. There’s lots to be done here. Gurnani: So. three. I had all the customer support operations. Throughout my career. It’s things have happened. for the next two. They just seem to have happened. where I can create more value for a company and business is in the job I’m in. I had kind of expected when I started putting this together that an awful lot of CIOs would say. etc. Gurnani: So my current job. moved into different roles. Gurnani: Yeah. but I got the call. three. As I mentioned to you. what’s next?” Yourdon: I. Yourdon: Okay. Operations when I was the West Area president for Verizon Wireless. but I also realized that. I used to get involved with some state-level regulatory issues and stuff like that. five years. so a lot of different dimensions.CIOs at Work Gurnani: We are players. one last question for you. but the next step would be something up to the CEO level. So it was not a CEO job. three and a half years I was the West Area president for Verizon Wireless. You know. I’ve done a lot of things. I had P&L responsibility. Gurnani: Yes. “I enjoy this. Yourdon: I’ve heard that from at least one other person. The previous job I wasn’t planning to be in.

It’s that central. Verizon Gurnani: CIO. IT. but she never worried about whether something eventually would come along. conferences. Executive Vice President and CIO. Very. Will there be a CIO ten years from now? Gurnani: As we were talking earlier. Okay. you’ve got to manage it. is now so central to running any business. but. whom I spoke to. “I’ve never planned my next position.252 Chapter 12 | Roger Gurnani: Yourdon: In the CIO job. information technology. but I’m sure you’ve got tons of other things to do. so I think I will turn this off. very interesting. You’ve got to manage your IT. Yourdon: The CIO of Detroit Energy.” Gurnani: Yeah. and lo and behold. And I think most businesses right now realize that. I would say have prepared me for this job better than they have prepared me for anything else. 30 years or so. you know. . but all my experiences. I could go on all day. And I can definitely do that job. out of the blue the phone would ring. And I gather that’s a common area of debate among CIOs when they get together or at the CIO. Yourdon: I would think also part of the answer that anyone would give to a question like that would be based on your own belief about the future relevance or importance of the CIO position. Yourdon: She said she got really good at deciding what opportunities to turn down. had the same answer. It’s like making sure you’re managing your finances. She said.

British Telecom (BT) Ashish Gupta is Managing Director/President of Portfolio & Service Design (P&SD). BT Global Services. Gupta holds an MBA in General Management from the London Business School.CHAPTER 13 Ashish Gupta Managing Director of Service Design. including as an IT delivery director responsible for the company’s CRM practice. the Middle East. Mr. Gupta has the responsibility for implementing global services network and IT strategy. how did you get here? . because people were obviously not born into the position of CIO. P&SD. systems. other European countries. and the Americas. Gupta has dual accountability reporting to the CEOs of both BT Global Services and BT Innovate & Design (BTI&D). which is basically how you got to where you are now. Asia-Pacific. Before joining BT in 2004. BT Global Services provides networked IT services to its multi-national customers across the United Kingdom. Gupta spent about nine years with Tech Mahindra. in various roles. Mr. In his capacity as Managing Director/President. and business processes for BT units globally. Africa. So. which designs and implements BT’s network. an IT outsourcing company. Ed Yourdon: I like to ask a starting question.

the responsibility of the role that we carry is more than the management of the IT infrastructure for the company.200—that works with the accountants to transform customer accounts. and I also run this service delivery organization. Gupta: In effect. just running the operation—but you’re much more involved in the product area than some of the other people that I’ve spoken to. to move them onto the BT infrastructure. Yourdon: Ahh. because I am the CIO for BT Global Services. and each business unit has in effect a CIO that represents the interests of that group but also perform a wider function. and not separately but as part of BT Group. so. British Telecom (BT) Ashish Gupta: Okay.254 Chapter 13 | Ashish Gupta: Managing Director of Service Design. Well. We have four legal entities that are listed. Yourdon: Okay. Yourdon: Okay. systems and tooling capabilities for the business to use. And I also have the responsibility for the function which is responsible for transforming the estate that we manage for our customers. Yourdon: Okay. Gupta: And we call them the presidents or MDs of service design because in effect. Gupta: Actually. on transition and transformation. . But I also run the portfolio for Global Services. so we call them not CIOs. that’s what I do for GS. the way we’re organized in BT is we have a federated CIO structure. process. But back to my original question. so Clive Selley is the CIO for BT Group. so network IT services is what we do. how did I get here? If I just clarify the role that I do. It’s also all about taking the ideas and product innovations functions and getting them converted into a set of designs and a delivered combination of people. so the product portfolio team works for me. when we win bids. But I also have many other functions as part of my role. okay. but MDs or presidents of service design. and I make sure that we create the right tooling and capability for the operations teams. it’s similar to what I’ve heard from virtually everybody else in terms of their responsibility for just keeping the lights on. I do the systems for Global Services. So I have the team around the world—of 3. Yourdon: Okay. I have other roles: BT Global Services is into IT outsourcing. Gupta: So it’s a little bit wider than a typical CIO function.

which was about 4. And that’s given me the opportunity to ask you a question as to the importance or nonimportance that you might feel about your foundation. because the CIO role is a lot wider as it’s defined today. And then when Clive moved on to be the group CIO. I took on his erstwhile role—which was the CIO of Global Services. which I joined out of university in India. Gupta: And then from that it’s just been essentially career progression roles. It isn’t something that they want an IT department for in- 255 . Well. I took on a role running the entire estate in BT. Yourdon: Okay. design through project and program management.CIOs at Work Gupta: How did we get here? Yourdon: Were you a CIO somewhere else before you took this position? Gupta: No. Yourdon: Okay. and I’ve been staggered by the variety. I started off as an IT engineer out of the university. I feel the need to understand what it is the teams are doing. a lot of the technology aspects. so I think it’s not very surprising that we have economists or erstwhile chemists or whatever that are doing CIO functions because I think the way it’s evolved. And I worked there for a good nine years. Yourdon: Which one? Gupta: Called Tech Mahindra. A lot of CIOs are now actually increasingly people who are very good at outsourcing stuff because lots of corporations are deciding that maybe there are certain aspects of what the CIO did that aren’t core competencies. Which is how it was instituted. I used to work for an Indian IT outsourcing company. it is pretty important. Tech Mahindra was a joint venture between The Mahindra Group and BT. It’s basically been an upward career progression. You know. at which point I basically moved to BT to join Clive Selley’s team when he was the CIO of BT Wholesale. which is one of our divisions. that was the kind of story I expected to hear from everybody.000 systems across the world. so it’s not management by management but by understanding how the nuts and bolts work. your starting core as an IT engineer. whether they were development. How important is that to what you do today? Gupta: For me. I do think though that it is a balance. I got through several different functional roles. all the product president of portfolio and service delivery. when it was just about doing IT. It’s a very integral part of the business than it maybe has been in the past.

256 Chapter 13 | Ashish Gupta: Managing Director of Service Design. That was pretty tough. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. It keeps it current. when I grow up. I had expected to hear that from almost everyone. British Telecom (BT) house and it actually might be better done through an outsourced partner. Yourdon: One reinforcement that I heard from somebody is that having a strong engineering or IT background gives you. which is the reason for all those questions. I think it’s actually quite healthy. and it’s not been true very often. So while it might be surprising.” So they’re very curious about how people get started and what kind of additional training might be appropriate or useful along the way. I think that’s pretty fair. Gupta: And then what you need is somebody who’s very good at managing the partner as opposed to somebody who’s good at doing the IT itself. I did it while still on the job. and then I actually invested two years doing an executive MBA. And the reason I ask these questions is that I run into a lot of junior IT people who say. because those programs are very extensive. just through the career. I attended a set of business courses. I was doing it at London Business School. So I think there’s a good sort of mix and balance depending on what the core strengths and what the aspiration of the organization is. Yourdon: One last question in this kind of starting area. just like the man sitting up there in that office. Yourdon: Well. A good grounding in the wider context. Yourdon: Sure. did you take any special training or go back to school to get any special degree? Gupta: I did. If somebody is trying to sell you a story. in terms of the individual that runs the booth as opposed to whether or not you graduated from engineering school and then made your way up through the ranks. But I found that to be extremely useful. Gupta: I brought a whole bunch of “home truths” back to bear in terms of how engineers think about the world and how the broader context thinks about work. have a good crap detector. “Someday. as he put it rather bluntly. I want to be a CIO. But in terms of the main assignment or . As you’ve kind of moved up through the ranks. you have a more fundamental sense of whether it’s exaggerated or complete rubbish or… Gupta: I’d agree with that. and I found that to be a very useful experience. So I was doing that at the same time I was doing my previous role.

etc. I’ve been surprised by the comment I heard from CIOs whom I had thought were just running a U. we have a federated structure. if there’s a revolution in Egypt or a tsunami in Japan. whether it’s all the management functions. But I must say. it’s not.S. Especially given that we’ve built up through acquisition.—I don’t worry about that. Yourdon: Right. It’s done by a group function that’s done centrally for every employee in BT. whether it’s pricing tools. Each country has… Yourdon: Each country has a different issue. and a lot of the nuts and bolts. no. Yourdon: Okay. There’s all sorts of technology issues in terms of how people connect. and like every other big telco. There’s differences in the quality of different networks in each of the countries. and it’s very understandable from what you’ve said. because we have rules and regulations about data protection acts. It’s not minor. like I said. you’ve mentioned the global nature of your work. How extensive a job is it just to provide the IT services to the internal organization? Is that a minor job or a major one? Gupta: Well. You know. laptop services and what goes on the desktop. Gupta: Yeah. Gupta: I think my focus area is more about making sure that the people in Global Services have the right systems and tools that allow them to do the Global Services job. how do we make sure that we’re bringing them to bear at an affordable pace? Yourdon: You know. who still said that basically they live in a global world now and if something happens. We have employees in 170-odd locations around the world. operation or a somewhat more local operation. Global Services is a very broadly distributed organization. But luckily for us. if you look at iPads and stuff. we have challenges in terms of consolidating our systems instead. they expect to get a phone call at three in the morning because even if 257 . you’d already mentioned that there were three main parts of it. whether it’s just functions that allow them to feel part of BT as an organization is quite a difficult thing. which is mostly to do with the billing or the management sales functions and the services operations function for managing the network and capabilities of that nature. and so making sure that they’re all connected to the corporate network and they have the right tools to do their job.CIOs at Work the main job that you do. So I think that is a pretty substantial element of my role. Gupta: Keeping it current and making sure that we are on top of it as the technology evolves.

to be honest. it’s interesting how all the technology actually eventually finds a way to help in hard and terrible situations like Japan. Gupta: I don’t know if there was a big amount of disruption to the mobile communications network in Tokyo and other parts because of the earthquake. And. Japan’s a valid example because we had a team of people there and we were communicating with them every day to figure out how they were working and it’s very interesting to understand the dynamics of the fact that the tsunami affected the standard phone lines a lot more than they affected the voice-over-IP connections that were in their offices. Yourdon: Oh. Of course. in some cases they were able to connect in their offices as opposed to from some of their homes. Was that true in Japan? Gupta: I don’t have data points. you’ve got your own employees and operations that are affected by whatever may happen in the world. they would have made sure that there was enough backup. the level of movement that some of these skyscrapers we were seeing without them coming down. I mean. I do know that there was disruption to the communications infrastructure.258 Chapter 13 | Ashish Gupta: Managing Director of Service Design. in many cases the cell phone communications infrastructure is the most affected by an earthquake or something of that sort. those buildings must be engineered amazingly well. I was amazed at the. You could see it on the broadcasts on BBC. there was a concept that got a lot of popularity a couple of years ago. the masts went with them. called “hastily formed networks” about the need for local groups on the scene to somehow put together a network to support relief services and so on. Yourdon: You know. clearly. you know. in the towns and cities that had pretty much disappeared. Gupta: Absolutely. So I don’t really know the level of disruption that happened on the mobile network. British Telecom (BT) they don’t have their own employees in that affected part of the world. But the extent to which they—well. being a country that knows so much about earthquakes. without a doubt. but . really? Gupta: So actually. Yourdon: Ahh. there were a lot of people communicating over Skype and all sorts of other things when they were doing interviews with broadcasters. So. their company is expected to jump in. okay. of course. I would have suggested that Japan.

because they have the customer relationships. Gupta: So we do define the propositions. Yourdon: Fascinating. yes. because we provide our own network. clearly. but the idea of helping to invent the future… Gupta: Yes. Now. We do look at how we take those propositions and make sure that they fit the customer needs to the market segments we’re going into.CIOs at Work there was definitely disruption to the communications capabilities in that country. because we provide outsourced network IT services. LAN. voice capability and infrastructure for CIOs around the world. so. being the first users of what will eventually become a product. like I said. the Ciscos of the world that produce the telecommunications capability. But we’re also working very closely with the technology companies. including the network. If you think about what we do in Global Services. it’s very interesting because. So. a second area that you mentioned a moment ago in terms of what your job involves has to do with the whole product area. Yourdon: Okay. and then we look at how we can bring some of that technology to bear with a wider portfolio. we eat what we produce because in a lot of ways that’s what we actually go to market with. Is there a lot of that here at BT? Gupta: Yeah. We obviously do it very closely with the market units. one last question in that general area. we dogfood our own stuff. be it the Microsofts. So in a lot of ways. as opposed to taking a product idea that might have originated from a business unit and productizing that? That’s more understandable. and I wanted to explore just one aspect of that for a moment. our biggest customers for Global Services are CIOs. To what extent are you expected to help invent possible products that just don’t exist at all right now. Yourdon: All right. We have our own voice communications capabilities. the Avias. in a lot of ways. yes. I have a product management team that is keeping tabs with what’s going on in the market from an innovation perspective and bringing those ideas to bear in terms of innovating the next sets of products and how we take them to market. actually. which is WAN.” that is. and we productize that stuff. and we sell that as a managed service to other CIOs. we run the portfolio team. to make life easier for the CIOs and to improve the 259 . When I spoke to the CIO of Microsoft. he said that while his department is not responsible for the products—they don’t create Microsoft Office—they are evolved enormously in the activity that he referred to as “dogfooding.

for instance. I just think that the productive cycles and the life cycles are getting much shorter and shorter all the time. And. they’re busy. for instance. Indeed. hopefully. right? We have a different target marketplace.S. That’s the value-add that we look to bring to the market. because we don’t have a mobile phone network. because Japanese workers get two bonuses every year—which they often spend on telephones. You know. say. we will look at creating mobility applications for telecoms to do equipment management services for CIOs so that they can manage the mobile estate within their organization. British Telecom (BT) productivity of their employees. but we do a lot of mobility services. in big enterprises like us.260 Chapter 13 | Ashish Gupta: Managing Director of Service Design. And. or are you more just on the network side of things? Gupta: No—our core proposition—we don’t have a mobile network division.. we do have products and services that we can put onto mobile devices like iPads and iPhones and other things of that nature. which to a large extent. Gupta: So tools that allow CIOs to manage their own organization better. And. Apple comes up with a new iPhone once a year. of course. not twice a year. of course. there’s a lot of other things to worry about. So we will look at mobileenabling voice. of course. Gupta: Well. a mobile phone. but what we’re not doing is selling mobile networks. makes our ability to . there are all of the smartphone vendors. one of the amazing things I heard in Japan—I can’t remember which mobile phone company I visited—was that they have to come out with at least two new models each year. the Apples and Samsungs and Nokias and so forth. The reason I asked that question is that the CIO of Verizon reminded me that among the many business partners they have to interact with. Yourdon: Okay. they can manage spend levels and look at how they can control that. whereas in the U. so there’s a spring season and a fall season. like how secure is the data on those devices? Are we making sure that we’re not opening ourselves to a threat of important company confidential information getting leaked out just through accident or through theft of these devices? And how do we secure all of those things. innovating. Yourdon: Okay. yes. And I think that’s a bit of a challenge for us as CIOs because we need to keep pace with it so we don’t start losing the advantage that some of those tools and technologies create for our employees. Yourdon: Now does your group get involved in putting the services on.

you’ve got Windows Mobile. on a sort of utility basis. that were all multitenanted and multi-processed and multi-tasked to our client-server model. isn’t it? So you’ve got more and more of the computing becoming virtualized and available on demand. and through the explosion of the app stores. Gupta: See. Yourdon: Yes. to our mini-microcomputer model. 261 . Well. of course. and so for us. it’s very important that we exploit that. of course. The one that has been universally mentioned by everybody. you’ve got Android. yet not open the organization up to a threat—and I’m not sure we’ve all cracked how we do that just as yet. I think the buzzword is “cloud computing. And the architecture’s evolving rather well. Gupta: Except. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. and then you’ve got the platform that BlackBerry uses. which are the four big ones as I see them at the moment. be it on the iPad or on Android. and a lot more distributed. not just for ourselves. which is really what cloud computing gives us. you’ve got the IOS. Gupta: Cloud? Well. which is just the general question of new innovations and new developments that you see coming along.” How do we get rich on what is now well agreed as being the way we do computing going forward? And how do we make sure that we can leverage that asset and go back if you will to the—it’s very interesting to me because we all started off with big mainframes. very stringent firewall rules. and they’re there for good reason. yeah. but also for the propositions we take to market for our customers. back towards a mainframe model. Gupta: And I think a lot of policy thinking and shift needs to go on before we can fully exploit the ability to use these devices more widely through the organization because a lot of companies still have very locked-down estates. So you can exploit the broader developer community to create apps. Yourdon: Right. or maybe even increasingly on the BlackBerry and the Windows platform. Yourdon: [laughter] I would agree. You’re getting a lot of the application platforms getting more standardized. All we need to do is figure out the flexibility for an employee to use a mobile phone personally and for business use.CIOs at Work now consume an iPad every year a lot harder? Because some of those things are not fixed in a day. it’s way more powerful and way more flexible. that moves me into the next area that I wanted to talk to you about.

and I think it’s very exciting for us. to getting to more applications that can be written on standardized platforms. Do you see that becoming more and more common among all of the major computer users. Yourdon: Right. Gupta: Like all the others. whether they’re bill runs that happen at the end of the month.262 Chapter 13 | Ashish Gupta: Managing Director of Service Design. The challenge we have. We have the same challenges in terms of data protection. But. And so the benefits of being able to take different . Yourdon: Right. and we have thousands and thousands of users deployed using these applications with licensing that’s based on old models. in terms of where the industry goes next. cloudbased computing infrastructure. but at the moment. I heard a lot about that yesterday when I was visiting Ladbrokes because they like to say that their whole business is “peaky. purely because they have to deal with those peaks because they’re so important to their businesses. this idea of extremely rapid and fluctuating demands for scalability? Gupta: Well. And how does that evolve to exploit the new compute-utilitybased. You know. if you’re multitenanted. like Microsoft. of course. Yourdon: One other aspect. without doubt. a big football game. the demand spikes. Gupta: And I think at the moment. most enterprises end up creating more capacity than they need. with more platformized capabilities that allow application development and innovation to happen at greater speed is all good for us as enterprises. obviously. most people have one of those platforms. In the moments before a big race. or whether there are events that happen at a certain time on a certain week on a certain day that needs a certain volume to be able to deal with it. is a lot of enterprise businesses are heavily today dependent on big software manufacturers like Oracle. what happens today is everyone has a set of peaky processes in their business. clearly.” I think is the word he used. per-use-based model? That’s the key challenge. are we secure? And all of those policies have to be resolved and clarified. of the cloud computing concept is the scalability. others will make plays in that space. British Telecom (BT) And. And then the combination of the ability to put applications on those devices is running on a more distributed. the instant scalability that it provides. from an enterprise market segment perspective. to be fair. people are moving toward virtualizing their estates. on an average running basis.

because everybody has got their own peaks.” Gupta: Yeah. Yourdon: Well. You know.” And now you see a world—it’s certainly illustrated by Google and some of the individual phone apps—things come in at the consumer level. only because you’re going to get that peaky event on a Saturday night if you’re a broadcaster or end of the month because you run billing cycles or whatever the model might be. It makes so much economic sense to be able to do it on that basis where you’re not building hundreds of extra servers in your data centers. employees are bringing into the office some handheld thing and also the memory of what they were doing last night at home on a computing device that’s much more powerful than what’s sitting on their desk. with some problems and opportunities. Yourdon: Good point. It makes total sense. But it’s inevitable. coming into the enterprise and being controlled and locked down and managed very carefully. Gupta: The challenge is getting the right mix of businesses on that platform and being able to deal with all the challenges around data protection and security and all of that stuff. “Here’s something that you can do at your desk. apps. that’s a good point.CIOs at Work peaky businesses that peak at different times and run around a common shared infrastructure. you’d be out of business. So you’re saying that it really affects everybody. Gupta: And whether you are willing to live with the peak because it is so critical that if it failed. etc. Yourdon: And then it may come up into the enterprise. but we have other challenges to sort out at the moment. from the consumer up into the enterprise? Gupta: So. to say. economically just makes total sense. “We’re going to sell something to the consumer out on the street. Now. How does that impact your day-to-day world? This kind of upward movement. if appropriate. pushed down to the employees. From my perspective.. Maybe one way to explain it is to say that the traditional world that most of us grew up with involved new products. there’s another phenomenon that you’ve touched on with a couple of your comments already that I’d like to explore. right? I think we might be missing a trick in terms of exploiting it better. but the obvious example is that all around the world now. that in itself isn’t our biggest issue. tools. I think the bottom line is there is increasingly becoming a need for convergence of devices between individuals and their personal use and 263 . if I was honest. Yourdon: Yeah.

264 Chapter 13 | Ashish Gupta: Managing Director of Service Design. And not feel like the two have to be separated out. would federate your . and those are the problems that we have to tackle and be able to deal with. so that we’re keeping all of those checks and balances in place. or your home laptop and your work laptop looks exactly the same? I wouldn’t say that it is. all the tools that we would take in the enterprise would provide capability. and we do have lots and lots of people that have abilities today to connect their working with their iPads or their iPhones. but we have to find a way to make sure that we do that in the context of securing the enterprise data. etc. With the expectation that it’s eventually going to involve all of these employees who are doing things at home and bringing into work. it has to go through our VPN. But has that got us to the point where it’s a singledevice model and your home PC and your work. which is all about unifying the messaging capability with the voice capability with your contacts and your e-mail and all of that good stuff. Yourdon: Okay. at the moment your primary marketing thrust and your product development thrust is still aimed at the enterprise first and foremost. Increasingly. I can look after my bills and whatever else on a different and more powerful device and with a set of apps. Yourdon: True. “Nine-to-five I use a PC.. Now. achieve their objective in life and at work. if you look at what’s happening—we do a lot of work in the unified communications space. We have sort of agreements as to how that’s managed and what the expectations are. Gupta: You know. because everything is getting so seamlessly integrated. Gupta: So I think increasingly we have to leverage the convergence of an individual as an individual at work and at home and find a way to exploit the upward-based apps. British Telecom (BT) what they do in the enterprise. like it has to be password-protected. which is. I haven’t got all the answers. But. and somehow those worlds have got to be married up. It’s locked down. I can never do anything else.” Yourdon: Right. People work all sorts of hours. it will get scanned. And when I go home. and that level of flexibility though creates a stickiness of the employees with the organization ’cause it gives them the flexibility to maybe work. make sure that we are within the bounds of the regulation we operate within. Gupta: Well. they’ll be working at eight o’clock in the evening over dinner sometimes and sometimes they’re at work and they might want to do something that’s personal. if I understood you correctly.

they’re all expanding. It keeps getting smaller. We can see it going on. Yourdon: Okay. I think. with the nature of the architectures that are being built up. Gupta: To be able to then connect their employees in those countries back with the rest of the world. by definition. Partly because of all these developments we’ve talked about. So in a lot of ways. I think. we enable a lot of other enterprises that are growing in those areas. you look at what companies like several of the ones that we work with today are doing. And I think we’re playing a very important role in terms of keeping the world more and more connected. every year. There’s another aspect of all of this that I’d be curious to hear your opinions about. broader enterprise that they work in. 265 1 Fast Moving Consumer Goods. If you look at FMCG1 businesses. but also bringing back and connecting those employees to make them part of the bigger. enable the employees is happening.CIOs at Work contacts between your personal contacts and your work contacts. us and a lot of other telcos. there is a convergence happening in terms of innovation and application development anyway. with hundreds of millions of people having handheld devices that allow them to do productive. and in a lot of ways we are building the network infrastructures that allow them to get there. And so we have tools and we have products that are targeted and aimed specifically in that area for employees within enterprise organizations. And so we’re now seeing enormous new markets in Africa and parts of Asia. okay. And I’m curious to what extent a company like BT is trying to capitalize on that or seeing that as a tidal wave? Gupta: Well. wherever they might be. every month. useful things. they’re all seeing growth in Africa. And we’re absolutely at the heart of empowering companies going into these growth markets but also making sure that we’re not just helping them with their employees there. . our core business is to make sure we keep people connected. So. the price of technology and devices is dropping to the point where almost anybody can afford it. including large parts of the world that previously could not afford anything at all. so that you can bring them all together and make it easier for employees to use a more unified capability for how they work. the mobile traffic explosion that’s going on and the connectivity and the ability to be able to get stuff into those countries and enable the factories. Yourdon: Okay. So. in a lot of ways.

Vast networks. is free. It may be supported by ads. Yourdon: Yes. That sometimes gets overlooked. Very good point. really. the resilience we put into them. but if you didn’t have a mobile network operator building a mobile network or a telecommunications operator connecting that country up with the World Wide Web. you can get Google Apps for free. but you guys are kind of in the background. the capital we’re investing allows companies to do that easier and easier all the time.” And. you can deploy smart phones. it’s not really there to help you with. that’s an interesting point. Gupta: We were having this conversation as part of one of the subforums of the IMF2. that’s why there needs to be continued focus on the infrastructure that allows communities to access the cloud. which is that the bandwidth requirements of a lot of those devices are an order of magnitude greater than they were when we were just doing simple voice communications. providing the bandwidth that’s required to be able to truck all that traffic through. which has to do with cloud and enablement of communities. Yourdon: Hmm. I almost never use my iPhone for ordinary phone calls. It’s all web browsing and that kind of thing. Now.266 Chapter 13 | Ashish Gupta: Yourdon: Yes. How much of a problem is that going to 2 International Monetary Fund . because it does all require a network. I’m sure you can anticipate this. Google Apps. so the social transformation is just phenomenal. It really is an amazing kind of shift that you see. Yourdon: Well. but they couldn’t get anywhere near what customers actually need to be able to use. And I think one of the big discussions we were having there is. Managing Director of Service Design. it would be irrelevant. and we’re certainly at the heart of making sure that the networks we build. making all that possible. If you didn’t have a network there in the background. and I can’t help but ask a question here. through the ability to leverage the cloud and what the cloud brings to them. Because if you can’t get at it. British Telecom (BT) Gupta: There are technologies that bring people closer together. Being an iPad user or an iPhone observer. yes. you mentioned bandwidth. for example. “The cloud’s all well and good if you can get at it. Gupta: So. yes. make them cheap as chips. but it’s free. so to speak. But I think that your point is well taken.

CIOs at Work be in the future. Yourdon: Right. They become so integral to their day-to-day life. You know. ’cause they get so used to using some of these applications. for instance. Yourdon: Well. Yourdon: Now in terms of growing all that. We’re helping a number of the operators here in the UK. the more pressure it will put on bandwidth and network infrastructure. Gupta: There we go. There is now more than ever the expectation that these networks are not only quick and fast but also very reliable. Yourdon: Right. it’s a bit of both. I think people also expect them to be more reliable. And the more that happens. much faster. Gupta: So the cost per unit of bandwidth or the price per unit of bandwidth drops significantly year on year. So I think it sold a million in the first four weeks or so. is that primarily a capital problem or a technology problem? Gupta: Well. How many iPads were sold in the first six months? Was it over a million devices were sold in two months or so? Some ridiculous number like that. and as the people who have smart devices are doing far richer things with astronomically greater bandwidth requirements than would have been the case ten years ago? Gupta: It’s a very significant problem already. The costs of 267 . Providers are providing fourth-generation LTE networks. they had sold 15 million when Steve Jobs got up to announce the iPad 2. every year. much. You only have to roam around in India to figure out how difficult it is—you can have a full signal but still not be able to do anything with it ’cause the networks are getting heavily congested by the devices. because the technology needs to evolve at a pace which allows us to build those networks at price points that are commensurate with the price points at which customers are expecting to be able to pay for some of this stuff. the success of the platforms and the applications on them mean more and more people are using it. with being able to trunk more and more data off the cells. Gupta: All of it is being accelerated because of the speed at which the smart devices are gaining traction. right. the operators are investing huge amounts of capital to increase the size of the pipes. to bring new technology to bear. So I think the core network infrastructure is still a very integral part of the speed at which all of this is happening.

okay. I saw one of your questions about. better technology. British Telecom (BT) building those networks needs to trend the same way and a lot of that is enabled by just more innovation. both to our internal users but. I’m going to get to that in just a moment. equally. and the related issues of privacy and so forth. Are there other problems associated with the technology that you work with that keep you awake at night? Gupta: Yeah. But a lot of that plays in the mix. we need to continue to reduce the cost of IT for the organization. importantly. Let me turn the conversation around about 180 degrees now and talk about the dark side of the force. Gupta: There’s a big. That’s kind of an obvious one. because it is a big area. but do it at the same time as improving the quality and speed at which we get capabilities delivered. what differences are we seeing in terms of the graduates that are coming through? Yourdon: Yes. Gupta: But I think the big challenge for us is really as an IT function. So how do we get through the innovation part and how do we build the tools. how do we build the capabilities. you know.268 Chapter 13 | Ashish Gupta: Managing Director of Service Design. the things that keep you awake at night. It’s a very interesting dynamic on cost and price and how do we as providers of networks enable this ever-growing desire and requirement for bandwidth but. Gupta: Absolutely. I guess the big challenge for us is speed. You’ve already mentioned security. the problems. and greater scale clearly helps. And then from an innovation and product . to our customers at the speed at which they’re expecting us to? Yourdon: And also maintaining enough control and integrity. make sure that we’re making good positive returns in helping the businesses. How do we make sure that we can innovate and deliver products and services. how do we take them to market at a price and at a speed that is commensurate with the rate at which customer demands are changing? So one of our big challenges is how do we do that? And then underpinning that on a whole bunch of other challenges in terms of skills: how do we capture the right skills that we need to be able to move the business forward from a technology perspective? How do we retain them? How do we keep them excited? How do we stay relevant? Yourdon: Ahh. yeah. other businesses and customers flourish? Yourdon: Interesting. There’s a lot of people working in very different ways. there’s a big war out there in terms of skills.

When you’re dealing with these issues and problems. innovating but doing it quicker. so they would come to us and say. not just at work but at homes. And I think those would be some of the biggest challenges that I face on a day-to-day basis. because I think people get frustrated at two levels. make sure that we have the broad governance and buy-in from that organization. when I got started in the field. “Please tell us what we need to do. these peers of ours were very smart and very successful and had very strong opinions and certainly felt that they knew how to run their business better than we did. you’re also working with other business units and product managers and marketing people. very good point because there are lots of people out there that do understand the technology better because it’s become so integral to how people work. in the old days. Yourdon: [laughter] Gupta: The issue is agreeing and being able to communicate effectively what challenges we’re trying to resolve. 269 . we have to do much the same in terms of delivering new products and services.” And even then.” but. more importantly. I don’t think there’s any IT organization that does everything everyone wants at any given point in time. I think it comes back to engagement and governance and being clear about what it is the objectives are the organization is trying to achieve and then aligning around them. but why it makes sense. “I can’t have what was promised I could have. we were the experts and they didn’t know anything about computing. Now they sometimes feel that they know how to run the IT business better than we do. and so forth. be it through capital investment forums or decision-making bodies that can agree and then communicate not just what we’re doing. How do you influence them to deal with these problems and developments that.CIOs at Work perspective. And then good quality execution of those elements.” And I think you need to sort of solve problem number two before you can start tackling problem number one. doing it cheaper. even though you may seem some opportunities that they’ve missed or some dangers that they’re unaware of. it’s a very. and getting it out there faster. Yourdon: There’s a slight variation on this that I’ve asked all the other CIOs about. One is. so that you can’t order them about what to do and what not to do. “I can’t have what I want. that you’ve talked about? Gupta: Yeah. Now.

S. in doing that. Without doubt. I had an interesting comment from one of the electric utility companies in the U. in fact. but this is the reason why the plan looks like the plan and that’s why we will execute this plan. you want to train your light body of a strategy . British Telecom (BT) Because if you’re not resolving what you promised to deliver or what you offered you would do for the organization in time and cost. many other functional service departments in organizations. “We have to sometimes bring our outspoken business leaders into some of our more complex areas and show them that.” Yourdon: Right.270 Chapter 13 | Ashish Gupta: Managing Director of Service Design. and this is the reason why it has to be done this way. Yourdon: Yeah. just like every other department. So those conversations.. actually. Gupta: Because you have the same conversation with an HR manager or the head of HR: “Why can’t I just get XYZ skill and hire them at will?” Well. you want to do things. we create a whole suite of other problems that will come back and bite us later. so we centralize all this stuff. Gupta: Because. “Look. this is why it costs what it does.” Everybody thinks they understand a lot about IT. a lot of the other CIOs have said the first thing you need to do is establish trust. in the world—in fact. who said. but she said. and we’d all like to do it faster. Yourdon: So that’s got to be the first point. Yourdon: Yeah. we have to have those conversations and say. it’s a hell of a lot more complex than they ever imagined. which takes two weeks and is done. Gupta: Yeah. I think there is absolutely a broad expectation out there that fundamentally there must be a way that they could do it faster than us if they just had control of all the functions. Here’s the reasons why that aspect of the problem that we’re trying to solve cannot be fixed through a quick fix. particularly because you’ve not delivered what you promised. or IT department. Gupta: Yeah. then it doesn’t really matter what you say.” And I have to assume that’s true for some of what you do as well. there are reasons why you want to balance your resources a certain way. not just CIOs. have to go on that journey. then there’s a level of issues in terms of confidence and the willingness to go on the journey. Because if they don’t trust you. “Just because you can use Excel doesn’t mean that you’re a programmer.

but if you don’t understand what you’re trying to achieve. the people that do all the college placement exams in the U. the detailed measurements. unhappy customers. Yourdon: You’ve used one other word in that answer that also resonated with me.’” Gupta: Absolutely. Gupta: My personal opinion—this is a personal thing—is it’s very dangerous to outsource something that you either ill understand or couldn’t resolve yourself. if you want to. And you have to go through those hard conversations and have those discussions. Gupta: You end up with contract breakages. Do it. you know. and you’re outsourcing it because outsourcing is what the mantra is.CIOs at Work for what you’re enforcing in an organization to look like. ‘Fine. And. Yourdon: But if you don’t have the measurements. “We constantly have users coming to us saying they want to outsource. then in a lot of such cases I would suggest that the outsource doesn’t work.. God bless you. he said it’s very hard to carry on a rational conversation. big fights with your suppliers about what you thought you were getting and 271 . at a minimum. we aren’t mortgaging away a capability that is actually required to drive the business further forward? So. the same way you need to have a strategy and an execution plan for what the technology looks like. And our response is. Yourdon: [laughter] Yes. you don’t have the data. of course. Gupta: You might be able to do it faster ’cause the skills might exist somewhere else or the organization that’s taking on the outsourcing has economies of scale and can leverage a certain type of people that can do it better. Yourdon: Yeah.S. When I asked that question of the CIO at Educational Testing Services. I would agree with that. but let us show you the detailed cost breakdowns. They don’t want to have to everything through central IT. and if you can get it cheaper. Gupta: Because how do you know that the outsource is actually being effective? And how do you know that in the outsourcing. he said. and then make sure that the vendors you’re talking to give you equally detailed measurements. Yourdon: Right. we’ve not been all that good at measuring things. one of the dilemmas we’ve always had in the IT profession is that we’ve. you should be able to fix it yourself.

These days. Yourdon: I agree. I don’t think it’s good or bad. I think the population coming to work at the moment does expect to be more mobile. that grew up as digital natives. The last major area I wanted to talk about before I ask you my final question had to do with this generational issue you saw in my list of questions. You know. you know. Yourdon: With 500 channels. because they have to be integrated. they kind of don’t expect to be able to radically change their mind and work in a context that’s very different. Gupta: They’re watching 500 channels. And I think it will bring innovation.272 Chapter 13 | Ashish Gupta: Managing Director of Service Design. the TV is on 24/7. not just in the IT department but throughout the organization. not just working. and all of that to me is about not having been crisp and clear about exactly what we’re trying to achieve through the outsource. But at the same time. I think we will need to and will see a shift in the dynamics of how organizations work. through . Through better collaboration. British Telecom (BT) what you’re then going to get. they’ll want to start seeing a collection of them trying to change the way certain things get done. not just from an IT perspective. Just by the pure nature that a lot of these people that will come through the ranks know a certain different way of living. They’re watching something on TV and communicating with their friends and SMSing away on their mobile all at once. so it’s a challenge. I think it’s different. and I’m curious what your opinion is of them. every company these days is now facing a new generation of employees. but just generally in terms of the processes and the procedural rules that exist within an organization and how they work. Is it good. I used to have two TV channels that were only ever available from six o’clock in the evening till ten o’clock at night. And they’re just used to being able to be better connected to be able to do things in a certain way. is it bad? Gupta: Well. and I think they are more easily frustrated by the constraints that you might put around lots of procedural processes that they feel. they need to feel like they can take the business forward. when I grew up in Mumbai. and they need to feel like they can be successful. And then when they come into an organizational construct. because of the way they’ve grown up—you know. and they will hope to mold the way they get work done in that way. So I think that as the mix changes and as the population gets more Generation Y or X. They expect to be more flexible.

CIOs at Work tooling, through whatever. And I think we all have to just at least be conscious of that and deal with it as best as we can. Yourdon: Do you see any, any disadvantages or risks or problems with the younger generation? Do they create problems for you? Gupta: I personally see that the generation at the moment is a little disadvantaged. The state that the younger generation is in, because the state of the economies at the moment and the fact that pension ages are being increased, basically means that people will have to stay at work for longer. Which means, by definition, that the average age of an organization will move to the right, just because everyone needs to work longer to create the nest egg that they can use in retirement. Yourdon: That’s true. Gupta: Which then means, by definition, we’re not creating as many opportunities for the younger population. So I think they’re going to struggle a bit, which is not fair for them, but it’s the reality of where we are, and I think that’s going to create a level of tension in terms of figuring out how they get frustrated about not being able to get into the workforce, into the right sort of jobs and roles as quickly as they might want to. So I think that while there was the opportunity generation, I think at the moment the guys coming out of the university face some reasonably challenging times in terms of the number of jobs that are available and how they get hired, which is why companies like Google and others are doing so well, because they’ve started up fresh, they don’t have a legacy of lots of people and a very strict employment contracts that have worked in large organizations for many, many years, and they are being able to hire all of these newer generation people with new ideas, and that, I think, is an advantage for them. Yourdon: I’ll give you an amazing statistic. When I spoke to the CIO of Google, I had just seen an article in the paper, and I confirmed it with him. They get 75,000 job applications a week. Gupta: That is amazing. Yourdon: It is. He said, “We have millions of résumés on file here.” Just staggering. Well, let me ask one final question—and it’s kind of an obvious ending question. Where do you see yourself going from here? Are you going to be a CIO for the rest of your life, or do you have aspirations for anything other?



Chapter 13 | Ashish Gupta:

Managing Director of Service Design, British Telecom (BT)

Gupta: To be honest, I’m 36. I’ve done a lot of stuff in a reasonably short period of time, so when I get asked that question, I guess for me it’s about constantly being able to achieve outcomes for the business and for customers. I haven’t sat down and mapped out the route to being a president or to being a king or anything like that. Yourdon: [laughter] Gupta: It’s worth it for me at the moment to be able to be reasonably opportunistic in finding things that are of interest to me, and then moving on. I move on when I feel like the job and the role I’m doing is done. I can move on and let somebody with new ideas come in and I can go do something else. Do I want to be a CIO all my life? You know, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I quite enjoy working with technology. I have a good background in it, and actually, it’s quite a fulfilling job. It will kill me, though, because the CIO function is not a 9-to-5 job. Yourdon: No, it’s a 24-hour job. Gupta: It’s very, very intensive, obviously. And obviously, that needs to play in to how long and how far you wish to go in the work-life balance sort of sense, but equally, I’d be more than happy—’cause I already do some of this in terms of portfolio and business alignment—to look at opportunities to move laterally, to doing more P&L escrows or deciding to do something different. But, we’ll see what comes. Yourdon: The reason I ask that question is that the traditional picture of the CIO is that it’s the end of the line, and a lot of the people I’ve interviewed are in their fifties or sixties. In fact, I interviewed one CIO who had just resigned—in fact, I take it back, there were three. One man was in his eighties—it’s understandable that he said, “I don’t want to be a CIO anymore.” But, particularly in the technology companies, you, the CIO of Google—I guess he’s in his thirties, but a lot are young people who have risen relatively quickly and they’re in an industry that’s moving quickly, and so they’ve got still 20 or 30 years ahead of them. And as several CIOs have told me, they never planned for this job, and they’re not going to plan for the next job. Opportunities present themselves, and when the right opportunity comes along, they’ll— Gupta: Jump and decide what to do then. Yeah, it’s a way of doing it. There are certain people who have a career mapped out and know where they want to get to. There are others like me who are happy that I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve so far. I’m happy with what I’m doing, and I’m not out looking for the next step or the next thing just yet.

CIOs at Work Yourdon: It’ll come, right? Gupta: It’ll come.



14 Joan Miller
Director of ICT, the UK Parliament
Joan Miller is Director of Parliamentary ICT (Information, Communication, and Technology) for the United Kingdom Parliament and sits on the management boards of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. She was recruited to set up a new department in 2005, centralizing nine separate ICT offices to create a new and more strategic ICT function for the UK Parliament. In previous roles Ms. Miller managed community development programs and European partnerships, becoming involved in managing ICT in 1993. She managed award-winning ICT programs and services in local government in Essex, Suffolk, and London from 1993–2003, in the course of which she centralized ICT services three times and established substantial organization-wide change and savings programs to create new contact centers, new face-to-face services, and new transactional web services for citizens. She also led two UK national projects in this period, one to connect electronic information and records across several organizations and the other to set standard methodologies for public sector programs and project management. Ed Yourdon: One of the things that I’ve been quite curious about with everyone I’ve spoken to is basically how you get to a position like this. Obviously, you weren’t born a CIO—but had you been a CIO at previous organizations or was this your first appointment?


Chapter 14 | Joan Miller:

Director of ICT, the UK Parliament

Joan Miller: I should probably tell you a little bit about my earlier career, because it is relevant. I did an economics degree. Which I think is quite unusual for CIOs. Yourdon: You’d be amazed at the variety. The CIO of the New York Stock Exchange has a PhD in chemistry, so I’m no longer surprised by anything. But economics in your case. Miller: Economics lives between science and art. And I think the CIO job lives between science and art with what people do with technology. And that’s why it’s not so unusual. There are a number of CIOs who also come from the social sciences. I began working in an insurance company. Yourdon: Ahh. Miller: But I took a 14-year gap to have children. So I was not working other than caring for the children for 14 years, and I did lots of voluntary work in that period. When I came back to work I was working with community development, which is a long way from IT. Yourdon: That’s true. Miller: But when I was organizing voluntary organizations that work with social care services, in Essex—a part of that was project planning. It was business planning, project planning for a voluntary center, creating contracts with the social care services to provide services, and that’s very much a people-based, but organizational planning–based role. And then I moved and worked for the director of social services, doing a staff officertype job, and that meant that I did anything that wasn’t social work that the director needed done. When I was working in that area, I was working on things like voluntary sector development, European policy, and projects. And then this new topic of information management came along. Yourdon: Ahh, I see. Miller: I’m talking the early 1990s here, we were looking at information management as the big development for social care, in order to be able to keep records. In 1993 we did a very big project, a community care project, which was about creating in an eight-week period a paper–based records system that crossed all of the council’s social care services. It was primarily for older people, people with disabilities, and people with mental health problems. Looking at the workflow process and how you could record the record of the individual being helped by social services when that individual would see a lot of different social workers and care workers. We did it all on paper in 1993.

CIOs at Work Yourdon: Hmm. Miller: When I’d finished that project, the director said to me, “So, what’s your next project?” And I said, “Well, I think you should computerize this. I think databases do this work much better than paper,” because we had 30 different forms in the process. Yourdon: Mmm. Miller: And for each one you had to do basic repetitious stuff, like write names and addresses and relationships on each form, and the obvious opportunity is to create an electronic record that would do that for you. I wasn’t thinking very much more than just being able to transfer information from one form to the next and build up a record. So we went into a period of looking at what computer systems might work. And we were lucky, I think, to find a computer system specifically for social care but which was a very well-structured computer system. I learned my IT data management, project management from that project. Yourdon: Ahh, I see. Miller: Buying a computer system that works and that social workers could use. Social workers are not the easiest people to persuade to use computers — their focus is much more on the person they’re working with than it is on the computer they need to give them the information, and they were very much at that time used to writing paper records, long files, so my introduction to big-time computing as opposed to home and personal computing was managing and leading a project to implement an electronic social care record. Yourdon: Interesting. Well, there’s a related question then for which you might give a very different answer than from what I’ve heard, and that is the question of role models or mentors along the way, because I would imagine they might have been somewhat different than what I’ve been hearing from other interviews. Miller: I’ll take a little roundabout way to give you the answer to this question. Having implemented a social care record in Essex, which is quite hard work, one of the things I really discovered is that in a social care organization, you need good leadership. Unless the leadership understands what you’re going to do and what you’re trying to do, implementing technology doesn’t work. The next job I was headhunted to Suffolk and implemented a social care computer electronic record system there. And probably the most important lesson from Essex was the need to engage with the senior management.



Chapter 14 | Joan Miller:

Director of ICT, the UK Parliament

And the person who influenced me probably the most in Suffolk was the Director of Social Services there, who although he did not know about computers or technology, his point was that this technology would be good. And so he invited me, not as director, but as the head of information management, to sit with him and his directors on their management board. Yourdon: Okay. Miller: So he allowed me to give strategic input to the business and decisions being made from an electronic record and support role. That meant that when we developed the electronic record at Suffolk, it had primary support from somebody who thought it was a good thing, with the freedom to work with Directors to find out why it was a good thing, and the authority to work with the users to help them to invent the use of the system, so that I wasn’t implementing technology. I was implementing a new way of working. Yourdon: Hmm. Okay. Miller: And so my prejudices around CIOs is not that they’re technologybased, but that they are work-based. It’s how people work that’s important. Technology just supports it. Yourdon: Okay, fair enough. Miller: Now there are two things that came out of that. One is that you have to mediate, I think, as the head of information anyway, between what packages do, what systems do, and what users want to do. You don’t just go with the choice of the user because you may not be able to support the technology. But neither do you implement a perfect technology and expect users to adapt their working practices without understanding what they’re trying to achieve in their work. And I think the principle of all IT management that I’ve had experience with is around that mediation CIO role, which is about discovering what is it the business wants to do and finding the technology that supports what they want to do, and the negotiation with the business that says, “Don’t go window-shopping for IT systems; come and let’s work out the principles. We’re the experts in technology, or at least I know some friends who are who work for me. Let’s make technology that supports your workflow that we can then support and that works together across the piece.” Yourdon: Okay.

CIOs at Work Miller: So I think the Director of Social Services at Suffolk was probably a key influence then because he was an enabler of technology. He didn’t understand it, but he enabled it. Yourdon: A champion, so to speak. Very interesting. Miller: A champion, yeah. I think another person was also very influential, and that was the owner of the company, the software house, that we bought the system from. He was influential because he had a huge understanding of how to simplify IT. And I learned from him around the principles of data management, data flows, simplification, and the ability to give the same result to many different people by showing them a screen that looked the way they wanted it to look, but built into a common database. So I learned about simplifying IT, but providing it in a very intuitive way to users and how important that was. Yourdon: Interesting. There’s one last introductory question that I’m curious about. When people start to become groomed or moving in a career path toward a CIO, some of them have had additional education or training, and some have not. And I’m just curious, did they send you off to school, to CIO school of any sort? Miller: No. Yourdon: So all on-the-job training? Miller: I don’t think I’ve had any specific CIO training. I’ve had business management training, more generic training. I’ve been to many conferences. I’ve been to good practice-sharing groups with other people who are aspirational CIOs. But I’ve never had any specific training. I’m perhaps of a generation before the people who did the specific training. I don’t think there were many courses around for CIOs, in the early 1990s. Yourdon: [laughter] Probably not. Miller: But I think also this role of CIO is not a Technology Officer. It’s about a business manager who is that translator between business requirements, and therefore the training in the business skills is as important as the training in the technology or the understanding of the technology. So my training has been much more about organizational change. And I’ve had some good training on organizational change. It’s been about principles of business management, not about technology. I rely on other people to be experts in technology. Yourdon: Okay, interesting. All right, probably the central question I’ve been asking everybody, for which the answers are all over the place, is how



Chapter 14 | Joan Miller:

Director of ICT, the UK Parliament

you see information technology playing a role to make your constituents, or the people you serve, more effective. What are your dreams in terms of using it to make the world a better place? Miller: That’s a really good question because I work in the public sector. And I work in the public sector because that’s my driving motive, to make the world a better place. Yourdon: Ahh. Miller: So why am I in technology? I would say by accident. And I would say the accident is that experience working in Essex when the Director said, “Go do the computer system.” So my experience, and just what happens in IT, is about using IT to make organizations work more efficiently. It’s about being able to control the information flows to help people be more efficient; to be able to automate the stuff to make the organization cheaper and more efficient. About the end of the 1990s, I think it was about ’98, the big word “e-government” came out. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Miller: And I was in that bandwagon of people who were saying, “E-government is an incredibly important force to change the way (local government is where I was working then) government works,” so rather than being an organization that thinks itself as silo departments, it becomes an organization that’s customer-focused, that says to the customer, “You are members of the public, residents of the local authority. You have a collection of things that you need from this authority. How would you like to interact with the authority?” And the principle then was to create customer service–focused, front-end services to the county council, to make them easier to approach and work with. To make it easier. If you had a problem that crossed social care and education and some of the other services of the county council, you didn’t have to go in five different doors to find the services you needed as an individual, but you could go into one door, and from that one door the person in the front-office service would connect you to the services you needed. Yourdon: Okay. Miller: In fact, this is the New Brunswick model in Canada. I was very influenced by reading about those services, where they had done things about more efficient front-line services that allowed the resident, the citizen, to access those services in a more intuitive way. When I was in social services, if you looked at the kinds of services provided, the

CIOs at Work management team was focused on 10 percent of the customers who had high-level needs and had high-level costs. Ninety percent of the customers with low-level needs and low-level costs were in queues waiting to see the social workers. Yourdon: Aha. Interesting. Miller: And the way we were able to restructure the organization was to create front-office services to give them the information they needed or even to be able to say, “We can’t help you with this problem because it doesn’t meet our criteria, but you can try this service.” We were able to put in a service that gave a faster, quicker, more responsive service to that citizen than the 90 percent of people who just got stuck in long queues. Also, note that the 10 percent who needed intensive social worker input were able to get to the social worker because there wasn’t such a long queue. Yourdon: Ahh, interesting. Miller: And that’s about—it was not about saving money, although we did, but it was actually about making the organization more responsive to the person who wanted that service. That is how I see IT working, because IT was able to support the front-office service and connect the information back to knowledge and workflow and processes that allowed the 90 percent, the people who were dealing with the 90 percent, who had fewer qualifications to effectively deal consistently with the members of the public and enable them to pass back to the social workers those who did need higher levels of care in a quicker, faster, and therefore cheaper way. Yourdon: Now you say this movement began in the late ’90s, so it’s now more than ten years old. Do you still think it has a long way to go, or is it fairly well established at this point? Miller: I think in many local government areas it’s well established. I think there are many services government provides, both from central government and local government and other quango-type organizations, which are still not connected. There are some very good developments in thinking, but it’s such a big problem in the public sector to connect everything up. So it’s a long time scale. Yourdon: Does it become progressively more difficult as you go from a local government focus to a national focus? Miller: Yeah. Yourdon: Is it a linear scale or an exponential scale?



Chapter 14 | Joan Miller:

Director of ICT, the UK Parliament

Miller: It’s an exponential scale. It’s easier to deal and partner with the people you can see. It is much more difficult to deal with people who are remote to you and to trust and partner, because working together—for instance, in the late ’90s, early 2000s to today, Health and Social Care, which is a national and a local organization, have been working much more closely together. That’s supported by electronic records. Yourdon: Ahh, okay. Miller: That’s a national organization dealing with a local organization, so two different trust environments needing to work together. Yourdon: And exchange information. Appropriate information. Miller: Confidential information. Yourdon: I was going to say, “With all the privacy issues associated with that.” Miller: And that’s been quite fascinating to see. The developments probably took five years to get off the ground, because nobody knew how to do it. I’m not at all sure that there’s comprehensive coverage yet, but there are some very good areas of good practice. Yourdon: Okay. Miller: There is the ability now to share information because people mostly work on electronic records. I suppose the working population have become more familiar with working on electronic records. When I was talking back in the mid-’90s, when I was implementing social care systems, this was anathema to social workers. Yourdon: Hmm. Miller: I think most are now used to it and indeed demand mobile electronic information, which was a big thing. But the ability to share information with Health has become an expectation rather than a threat. So the mind changes affect the use. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Miller: And I think the role of the CIO is to keep track with and push, when necessary, the agenda. And I think constructive input from the CIO can change the world, or at least a little bit of the world. You have an influence by helping organizations to share and therefore partner and work together, and therefore the citizen gets a better deal.

For example. you can do entirely on the Web. Having said that.0” as the counterpart of Web 2. And there are more and more attempts to provide mechanisms for citizens to either input 285 . Miller: Ahh. I think it’s probably at the 25 percent success level at the minute. there are some very good examples of how government is now trading. yeah. Rough figure. 12 years ago was “e-government. but the direction of travel is to help people to get what they need quickly and therefore more cheaply for the government and for the individual. who contribute the information themselves into a social network.0.0 or Enterprise 2. I think that right from the end of the 1990s we were saying. yes. can we even prevent that by giving them Internet information and transactional services?” I think that Health is probably one of the organizations that has gone the farthest to help diagnostic information appear to the citizen on the Web. in New York City we never did. trust the official government information about whether the public transportation was running on time. Yourdon: Mm-hmm.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Now you had mentioned that the buzzword that kind of launched all of this 10. so the social networking-type of environment. and it’s so much easier for citizens to sit at home and do this work rather than try and do everything on paper or go and visit an office. as citizens. could you catch a train on time? And now we rely on citizens. If you went to the train station. Miller: So income tax forms you can do entirely on the Web. interesting. Miller: And they’ve done that from early 2000 onwards. “So how—if we’re taking people through the door or on a telephone service. for government. Yourdon: I was actually referring to something—I think of it differently philosophically—which is instead of having the information essentially go top-down. So. Is that something that has become significant here in the UK? Miller: I think that that was always significant. doing transactions with citizens through web-based services. Yourdon: Yes. turning it around and having it go bottom-up. I think the complexity of how we provide services makes it really difficult for citizens to interact on the Web in a comprehensive way. but there are some very good examples.” Another one that I wrote down here that we’re hearing a lot now about is “Government 2. I think that’s developed in a very intensive way. Things like driver vehicle licensing. Yourdon: Hmm.

286 Chapter 14 | Joan Miller: Director of ICT. but the bigger one. what is lobbying. In Parliament. we have some experiments in some of our committees. the UK Parliament information or actually contribute services that would otherwise be provided in a top-down fashion. what is the right government and for the people. It’s the same in government where Number 10—that’s the prime minister’s office—has been very engaged in trying to connect to the public. I think there are two ways citizens can influence their services. which means that in the UK. They’ve had a petitions website to try to gauge what issues the public are focused on. is the citizen voice. which are about inviting comments on bills. Yourdon: Yes. the experiences they’ve had. We have had some experiments in the UK. on committees’ scrutiny of bills. The information they provide is then collected based on the way they use them and will modify the way governments react with them. Miller: There is this wave of opinion. but not yet a great deal of understanding of how that should and can influence the members when they make decisions. to help them to understand what the public view is. I think. how to hear all those individual comments? How do you possibly pay attention to the volume of electronic comments that are coming from the population. people’s opinions. what is irrelevant to government . Miller: Well. Miller: I think in the UK we are still very unsure as to how to use this citizens’ voice. We have a representational democracy. So they sit in Parliament to use their judgment to engage in the debate about what are the right laws. what is of value. those are difficult to manage because it’s difficult to understand if what you get is the true public voice or the lobby public voice or just the electronic-enabled public voice. what are their priorities? But. again. This is now providing information to those elected representatives in a fairly prolific way. secondly. Yourdon: Yes. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. what in the UK we might call the “X-factor” type of opinion from people that comes through the electronic media. you elect them to make the decisions for you. Miller: So there is an experiment. if you elect somebody. And the problem that those elected representatives have is to first understand if that electronic voice is representative? How can it be made to be representative? And. what is representative. One is through using them. it’s very difficult to know from the petitions they’ve had. And as the process goes through Parliament.

And I suspect we’re going to be seeing a lot more about that in every dimension in the years ahead. and therefore to be able to facilitate public comments into some of the scrutiny going on in Parliament. especially with all the current news that we’re seeing about activity. They have to understand what the options are. Miller: And we haven’t got our heads around yet what that means and how to deal with that. simply cannot do today. that is interesting. Yourdon: Yes. Miller: We’re very much in a facilitative role in that. Are you expected to bring completely new possibilities up for their consideration? Miller: Yes. but then they have to know what to do with the options. And I think this “Government 2” thing is less about how you enable the comments. or some of the legislative activity going on in Parliament. But this has to be a member-led activity because they are the elected representatives. members of Parliament. I think that’s the classic example you were talking about before. whether it’s Parliament or other parts of government. the relationship between the business community. Yourdon: Or just improve on what they’re now doing? 287 . Yourdon: That’s a very good point. it’s what do you do with what you get? How do you process it? How do you manage it? I don’t think there’s an answer to that yet. Parliament’s main function is to be open to the public.CIOs at Work because they can’t do anything about it? It’s quite difficult to be able to receive the information and do something with it. paper petitions. And we can’t tell them. “Electronically open” means something different. or perhaps it was probably for the higher class originally. Miller: Parliament is 700 years old and it’s lived on petitions. Yourdon: Well. and the public being able to access Parliament for 700 years. but nowadays. yes. Now. and the technology people. Yourdon: But does your office get involved in these ongoing experiments? Miller: In as much as members require there to be experiments. although there’s something about making that representational. Yourdon: Yes. in this case. One of the questions I had was whether IT in your case is expected to enable entirely new things which the business.

Miller: The public didn’t engage very much. to people who are probably world leaders in using electronic information. to be able to see what the public is saying about the debate as it’s happening. it’s environmentally efficient. it won’t change very much at all. if they wish. than they’ve ever had in the past. okay. the UK Parliament Miller: Well. the opportunity behind that is to be able to provide the Member in his chamber with more information. instantly. It changes a tradition. Yourdon: That’s right. but also to be able to follow the impossible demands of those people right out at the front. I think it’s an interesting place to use technology. . Miller: If they wish. The impact behind that. It allows Members in the chamber. very diverse. So. there was an experiment in the House of Lords where they did a parallel debate. Yourdon: Ahh. because we have an interesting customer group. Yourdon: Okay. Miller: Now in both chambers they have voted and said. but. Yourdon: Mm-hmm.288 Chapter 14 | Joan Miller: Director of ICT. Miller: That changes the way the debate happens. they can. It ranges from people who don’t really like using computers or electronic mechanisms. it was a one-off first try. In fact. and our function in this organization is to be able to describe the possible.” That doesn’t sound like a great big thing. It will change the way the democratically elected Member is fed information. it will change the way democracy works. for instance. Miller: So one of the roles for IT in this organization. Miller: And our job is to display the opportunities for Members to decide at what pace they want to move. it’s timely—there are lots of very good things about it. and there was a parallel debate that was open to the public to engage. does it? Because initially what that means is that Members in either house will have their papers electronically. if you take it to the extreme. we have had in the last few months debates in either chamber as to whether people can use iPads in the chamber. If you just have it as a source of your paper. which is good because it saves printing. Yourdon: Right. “Yes. Yourdon: [laughter] Ahh. But how does that change democracy and the democratic process? Obviously. you know. So they did a debate in the chamber.

who can and do make their own choices about what technology they use. early ’90s. That’s very interesting. Yourdon: Okay. please IT organization. and you become enterprise IT. It became the business owners’ product. And they created small. one of which I managed.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Okay. and how and when they use it. You get into the late 1990s. and that brings back control. and they had their own systems. Yourdon: Yes. At the same time. Of course. Miller: That’s specifically true because our customer group is not a homogeneous group of people. discrete. and I can go back to the days of the mainframe in the 1980s.” Yourdon: Yes. totally.” but it’s “individual. “This is what you get. it was about e-mail and messages. so you centralize IT again. They are people of independence. Yourdon: [laughter] Miller: That was sort of the 1990 to 1995 invention of IT. and they set up IT departments. It brings back format. and we’ll crunch numbers for you. Miller: So our preoccupation at the minute is with a new ICT strategy. we took IT out of the mainframe environment. Electronic communication replaced letters. I’m quite surprised when I get a letter these days. what software they use. I can see some trends appearing in IT. Miller: And then about the mid-. which is the new trends that you see helping to shape the future. iPads are a good example of another whole area that I wanted to ask about. and people want to join up this small. “You work this way because you have to because we can’t keep it all safe and we can’t predictably manage the information flows 289 . it brings back locked-down information that says. beautifully formed IT for very specific purpose.” Yourdon: Aha. Miller: It’s not just “mobile. don’t lock me down. okay. and you get it for five hours a day or one hour a day. It’s mobile individual. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to has focused on mobile technology in one form or another. Being as old as I am. discrete information. when IT told everybody. Is that near the top of your list in terms of new technologies? Miller: Absolutely.” “I want to use the technology I want to use.

No controls that they are aware of stops them from accessing that from any device anywhere. you have a heck of a problem dialing into the network because of all of the security we have. It has network perimeters. security. So that’s our challenge and our strategy over the next five years. interoperability. Miller: And that’s our challenge: how do we make that happen and keep the data secure? Because the data is about confidence. the UK Parliament unless you do. yes. Yourdon: Right. Miller: People at work want what they get at home. in whatever software. hard integration of IT into individual IT. government be able to demand they could see it? You can imagine. can we ever go out of it again? . company’s servers?” Yourdon: [laughter] Miller: Would the U. There is software that they can download anywhere to do what they want to do. and when we look at “can we put it into the cloud?” we’re asking. And what they get at home is massive. Yourdon: Okay. Those are the questions we have to ask.290 Chapter 14 | Joan Miller: Director of ICT. that’s an absolute veto. why not at work? I think that our ICT strategy here is to try to preserve security around data and to open up the opportunity for people to individually use that data. for a UK Parliament. For instance. We barbwire on it. security.” I think what we’re seeing in the late 2000s is a move away from that integrated.S. where can we put that e-mail service to allow people to get it easily on the move where individually it’s secured to them? Can we use Microsoft’s cloud service or Google’s cloud service? Would it be secure enough for our Members’ requirements? Can we do that for the administration? Those are our big questions. And if they can do that at home. Yourdon: Ahh. “Is it secure? Can other people crack it? Is it safe? Has it got sovereignty if you put it into a U. whatever hardware they want to use. trust. Miller: Can we transfer it? If we buy a Microsoft service. Yourdon: Oh yes. They can use any product they like to do e-mail by signing up for free. Miller: So our question is. It’s secure. we currently provide a big e-mail service. And it means that if you travel out of the Estate.S.

a more fundamental question is. there’s another kind of new trend that a few people have mentioned. Miller: If we did that. or do we provide it cheaper from somewhere that already does it?” Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Do we provide it ourselves. what you want is that kind of flexibility. that the data is in the U. “Actually. we say. Can we afford the risk of these other issues. maybe the generation that’s coming out of college. sovereignty. these utility services. You know. and I’m curious to see if it’s relevant for you. how do we solve these other problems? So our active work is to solve these problems. and transferability? Yourdon: Is there a fundamental feeling in your world that these problems will eventually be solved? Miller: Yes. We are actively investigating how to solve them. which are security. do you know where it is? You know. Yourdon: That it’s just a matter of time? Miller: We think they can be solved. “We can’t solve these problems. There’s an author in the United States by the name of Clay Shirky who refers to this as the “cognitive surplus.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Actually. We think they can be solved in the next 12 months. But they will be solved. can get it.S. that’s exactly the sovereignty issue. or on some island in the Pacific Ocean. Is that sort of concept one that is relevant in your work? 291 .” then we have to hold until they will be solved.S. Yourdon: Yeah. Miller: Yes. after six months. you have to know where it is. So we have big questions about this very attractive offering because it looks like a good cost break if we can move into these big-scale services. Yourdon: It’s just a question of whether it’s this year or next year or the year after. Miller: Mm-hmm. If. so to speak. before you ask whether the U.” He argues that ours is the first generation now. to free things like Wikipedia and thousands of things like that—and that things like this have never happened before in society. Our role in IT is to look at our customer group and say. that has the time and interest and computer resources to contribute some part of their surplus brainpower. I certainly find general agreement that this whole cloud model of having an infinitely scalable resource is one that is inevitable—it’s a tidal wave.

there’s also the economic aspect to this.292 Chapter 14 | Joan Miller: Director of ICT. And I think people like to be engaged in knowledge. Miller: And look at the administration behind Wikipedia that makes it work that way. Yourdon: Meanwhile. It also needs managing. information goes out-of-date very quickly. One is about authoritative knowledge. Yourdon: Yes. That’s true. Yourdon: Yes. that’s true. Yourdon: That’s true. And it’s the same question if you like which our Members face when they try to listen to the electorate voice. Look at the increased controls on Wikipedia. the UK Parliament Miller: I think knowledge is a key issue. Miller: And I think that the key for us is to understand whether unmanaged sources of data can sustain themselves over the long period. Miller: Now why did that happen? And that’s my second point. [laughter] Miller: I don’t know either. I certainly don’t know. There’s a one percent maybe variation in the authority and accuracy. all of that stuff. This whole concept of essentially free software. I certainly think that that may be significant—and the CIO of Google thinks that this is going to be transformative in our time. open source. How can we be sure that the collective knowledge has authority? The Wikipedia issue. is that a necessary step? Yourdon: Ahh. but there will be an answer. I think there are two problems for us and the work that we do. databases. Miller: So my question back is. I just don’t know what it is yet. Or will it need increased management? Now Wikipedia has chosen to put in that increased management in order to keep up its authority level. that’s true. Miller: How can you judge the validity of what you’re hearing? How can you deal with the volume of what you’re hearing? These are two important questions I think the world has to concentrate on. has completely transformed the economics of large parts of Africa and other countries. you know. Yourdon: Yeah. . and the most amazing is the mean time to repair. Yourdon: That’s a good point. Yourdon: You’re aware of the comparisons with Encyclopedia Britannica? Miller: I was just going to mention it.

I can see the point. That’s why transferability is the key.CIOs at Work Miller: It absolutely is transformative. And can’t take a future anywhere else. If I seriously look at investing in a Google model for our users. What are the risks and problems and so forth that keep you awake at night? Miller: [laughing] Interesting place to work here. Miller: On the other hand—there is another hand. you see? And I think the job of CIOs is to be able to read the market a little bit further forward. I don’t get kept awake by the future of technology. That’s true. Yourdon: Yes. I don’t think that it will fail. what do I then do about sustainability and growth and future-proofing? What happens in the now if it’s free? Yourdon: Good question. we’ll find a solution. Yourdon: Interesting. You see. Well. the Google model is just so attractive. and it’s about making software a utility that people engage with and engage on. I think the things that keep me awake at night are the more immediate. I just don’t know what the sustainable model is. and that is the opposite side of what we’ve been discussing so far. Miller: That we don’t get locked in. And that’s about the instant services required here. We could invest in the very well-known Microsoft and find that we’re locked in and have no options. I’m not sure about too early. 293 . I don’t think it’s a difficult impossibility to proceed at a pace that allows you to change track if necessary. Miller: I think it is. because there is no answer yet. as long as you understand that’s what you may need to do. what’s happening now. and we can move it to whatever service is best at the time. Miller: Or too early. I think if we proceed with ambitious caution. But what if it did. so they don’t fall off a cliff by trying something too brave. We own our own data. yeah. and be able to explain it to our customers. Yourdon: There’s another broad area that I want to make sure we have a few minutes to talk about. Yourdon: And too early. Miller: I don’t know. To me. and we’d invested all our knowledge in that? Yourdon: Good point. the dark side of the force. So our job is to make both possible for the future.

Yourdon: Ahh. They have to work the moment that it’s done. that relationship between IT and the users and how to maintain it? Yourdon: Interesting. because how you live it and breathe it and so forth with an older user may or may not be the same as how you would go about doing it with somebody fresh out of the university. Miller: That’s the key issue. the UK Parliament So when we are working on the electronic services that support the work of the House. and showing that you’re doing it all the time.294 Chapter 14 | Joan Miller: Director of ICT. they’re not afraid of it. and not being proved to them in technical language but in language that they understand. Have you seen fundamental changes in the generation of people not even out of the university these days. But it has to. Miller: So immediacy is the thing that is critical because IT is never fully. in that right language. how to keep the information flows at the right level. Why is that? [both laughing] Miller: So that’s the irritation factor. that people get it. 100 percent going to work 100 percent of the time. because the technology’s so irritating. Yourdon: And that leads very naturally to my next question then. How to get that trust. to the minute. They get the opportunity. if you create an agenda for the House business. Information has to be updated immediately and online within two hours of what they said each day. When I joined Parliament in 2005. And the other things that probably keep me awake are very much more to do with the user. Yourdon: Is that right? My goodness. I guess. So that’s a critical business imperative. It has to be available so many hours before it’s used in the chamber. it’s fascinating. breathing the experiences of the user. you have these time-critical issues. which is about the generational changes. The thing that worked yesterday fails to work today. there is no time adjustment allowed for failure. How to keep the communication. because they trust the solution without it all being proved to them. You know. . it has to be available at the time. Miller: So. Yourdon: Hmm. they could be teenagers? Miller: No. when it has to be available. you know. one Member would not have any computers in his constituency office. Big-scale text issues are a little bit worrying. And that is really about hearing. living.

So whereas in the last Parliament we had maybe 20 members who were devoted Mac users.CIOs at Work Miller: Would not have it. interestingly. In 2010 we had an election. Member surveys that we’ve just done. Word documents. without a real competitor yet. A small number. first on the market as that device. one in the Lords. it may be twice that number. Yourdon: Hmm. But we have a queue of people who are waiting for it. and so forth. And of the two committees. He unfortunately died soon after I joined here. A big change for us. Miller: Ahh. across all the services they’re given. So what I have noticed is. is a move away from using the IT that they’re just given. whether enthusiastically or reluctantly. And with the growth of the iPad. And I think that would not have happened in the last Parliament. maybe more. interesting. and they’re using their own products. one of their top needs. We’re not all confident. but still a growing percentage. The other thing I’ve noticed. and a third of the House changed. amongst the new Members. well done! And not very widely available in the UK yet. probably e-mail. one Member on each committee has said no. we now maybe have 80. so something has significantly changed. “Yes. where the members of those committees who have very wide-ranging experience with IT will use these iPads for their committee papers. which are about 16 members each. a much higher proportion of people who are self-sufficient in IT and ambitious to use IT. has IT and is dependent on IT. We’ll give it a go. Yourdon: Interesting. we see the point. Miller: To find out what it’s like to use that kind of electronic device. Now every Member. And when I look at the user surveys. but use them in their committee. 295 . Miller: And they’ll take them away and use them however they use them privately. Yourdon: Ahh. Yourdon: I just got my iPad 2 the day before I took the plane over here. mostly Apple. for different reasons. But only one has said no. The change is very fast. but we’ll give it a go. Miller: From our products to Apple products. one in the Commons.” Yourdon: Interesting. Miller: That’s the top key issue for them. We’re in fact running a trial with two committees. is IT. to use their imaginations to tell us what’s next. The rest are all engaged and saying.

They go wrong because they’re too complex. is. you know. so where do you see your own future? Where do you go from here? . and in our debating chamber. Miller: There are other products that we have provided that are technically superior. Yourdon: Yes. So the flat divide that is forgiven when it goes wrong has made a huge user turnaround. got a little message back a couple of days later: “I think I’m in love!” It’s what I call “forgiving technology. And then people do not forgive them. We’ve had tablets. Miller: So we have been issuing iPads for probably six months. but I watch users and how they use their IT. That’s what the CIO has to do. a lot of user error. Yourdon: No? Miller: They didn’t do it because they’re too complex. Miller: But it creates a barrier between me and the person I’m talking to. because if they go wrong. they’re too complex. Now.” It’s like the iPhone. a little quote for you—this will delight Apple—I gave somebody their iPad. listen. Yourdon: I think you’ve summed it up. learn. They would take too much time. which is quite advanced for organizations.296 Chapter 14 | Joan Miller: Yourdon: That fast? Director of ICT. But forgiving technology because people can get their signal. it doesn’t work. so the final question. The iPad is representing everything. Yourdon: I agree. led by consumer products that people like. Miller: It makes people more interested in it. netbooks. reflect. which is awkward technology. Miller: It may even be like the BlackBerry. Miller: Watch. They didn’t do it. So I think forgiving technology and the adoption of it is a big change I’ve seen. I mean. Yourdon: Yes. it’s forgiving technology. but unforgiving. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. the UK Parliament Miller: Very significant. and I think it’s an appropriate final question. We’ve had Berry Lites and laptops. I have one minute left. more able to experiment. Yourdon: Interesting.

All right. So I’m not planning the next phase. 297 . Yourdon: I’m astounded at how often I’ve gotten that answer.CIOs at Work Miller: [laughter] That’s such a difficult question for me. because I’ve never planned a career. well. well. What can I do that has an impact that changes stuff and makes it better? So if I’m interested about what I can change. the deep truth as far as I’m concerned is I’m fascinated about what I can change. and mostly that’s just been accidental for me. I think. it’s what I can see that I can do that I do next. Yourdon: Fair enough. So I haven’t ever planned it. thank you. Miller: Well. Maybe there’s some deep truth to that.

Mr. Kundra unveiled an IT Dashboard that tracks over $80 billion in federal IT spending. before moving to Washington. and which is designed to provide CIOs of individual government agencies. Ed Yourdon: Given that we do have such a short time. Prior to his current position. Three months after his appointment. Mr. Mr. and agency leaders unprecedented visibility into the operations and performance of Federal IT investments. India and moved to Tanzania with his family at the age of one. DC at the age of eleven. you know. Kundra was Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia. and was appointed to the position by President Obama in February 2009. The Federal CIO is responsible for directing the policy and strategic planning of federal information technology investments. after serving as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Technology for the state of Virginia. somewhat like the cloud that I see you’ve really latched onto? And then the dark side of the force. the kids coming out of school right now and their assumptions and attitudes about social media and . the public. what are the things that keep you awake at night? And the one thing I’m very curious about is your opinion of the impact of the next generation.CHAPTER 15 Vivek Kundra First CIO of the United States of America Vivek Kundra is the first Chief Information Officer of the United States. what exciting things do you see coming along. as well as oversight of federal spending on information technology. I thought I would focus on just three things. First. Kundra was born in New Delhi.

Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Kundra: And the reason I think that technology is like digital oil today is because if you look at just the federal government.” Yourdon: Ahh. underutilizing. if you look at how we deploy technology.000 in about a decade. . when you look at manufacturing. So. Kundra: So the question before us is why do we accept a 50 percentile differential between how we deploy IT versus our manufacturing base? And the reason I’m calling it “digital oil” is because it is so vital to the prosperity of the country and the prosperity of our economy. whether it’s the United States or Canada. Yourdon: Okay. the word that I’ve coined is “digital oil. okay. Kundra: Average utilization of servers in these datacenters is under 26 percent. Brazil. And storage utilization is under 40 percent. Yourdon: Okay. Kundra: We are as dependent on IT as we are oil to drive the economy. the entire European Union. the cloud is a good example of something that’s already here but do you see other things coming down the pipeline in the next couple of years that could dramatically change? Kundra: There are three megatrends that are going to disrupt our current technology landscape. Yet. rather than just overbuilding.300 Vivek Kundra: First CIO of the United States of America technology and the whole works. So you could just imagine the compute power we’re throwing out that’s not really being utilized. Kundra: The ability to massively scale and provide resources on demand and a consumption-based model. harmful for the environment assets is extremely inefficient and unsustainable. asset utilization in most industrialized countries. Yourdon: I saw those figures. Yourdon: Wow. it’s about 79 percent. Do you see that as a significant thing? So in terms of futures. And what we need to start doing is figuring out what is the equivalent of alternative fuels for technology—and that’s why I’ve been very passionate about the move to the cloud. we went from 432 data centers to more than 2.

301 . banking. And from a security perspective. Wireless transportation. Kundra: Our adversaries were constantly trying to disrupt the military command and control systems. And underlying all of that is obviously going to be issues around security and privacy. but it’s also when you start making available geospatial data. Kundra: All driven by consumerization of IT and the fact that every person. and in the context of cyber-warfare. information from sensors across the board—the demand for computing and for storage is beyond anyone’s comprehension today. when you look at nation-states building massive capabilities. Kundra: On some of the issues there. and that’s all historical content. Yourdon: Right. consider this: The National Archives archives one billion pieces of paper a year. Kundra: Sensors are generating data from intelligent transportation systems to the electrical grid. three is cloud. which requires us to fundamentally rethink our computing models as a result of these megatrends. videos. Yourdon: Okay. Yourdon: Okay. every endpoint is becoming a sensor that’s not only consuming information. but it’s also generating digital-borne content. our command and control systems. when it comes to leveraging a lot of the mobile devices. and we’ve gone through many revolutions since the days of the Pony Express. when social becomes an integral part of human behavior. and energy require that we hardwire security up front. The other part is to think about how larger parts of our economy are moving to the digital world. Yourdon: Right. health care. which is probably the first thing on your list on the dark side of the force.CIOs at Work Kundra: There is a tectonic shift in technology driven by three megatrends: one is mobile. two is social. the privacy issues are very serious and they’re very real. In the public sector scenario. Security and privacy. and today it’s cyber. when you look at organized crime and you look at the number of phishing attacks and how they’re exponentially increasing. the same was true during the telegraph era. when you look at it from a military perspective. Think about all the new content this is being generated: blogs. we put in charge a four-star general to build that cyber-command because we realize that this new landscape. it’s not just that it’s simply looked at as security and privacy.

I think. They act like villains. they are still tied to the old IT model of command and control while all their customers hate the enterprise IT solutions they are forced to use. If you go back 50 years. under the guise of security. “I want an iPad. To drive transparency on how all of our IT assets were performing across the board. and now. and then eventually everybody says. where everything was top-down. And what you realize very quickly is there’s a huge gap between the public and private sector when it comes to information technology. Yourdon: When you had mentioned the whole consumerization thing. and I was telling them. Kundra: I actually think that’s a great change. that they are more secure. . ’cause they were expensive. Yourdon: A lot of the vendors are building products for the consumer marketplace first. I went up to the Silicon Valley and I spent a lot of time in the Bay Area. why don’t you compete for government business?” because part of what I’m trying to introduce is Darwinian pressure in the public sector because we spend $80 billion a year on IT. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Kundra: And they pretend. it was the government that first bought computers. Yourdon: [laughter] Kundra: One of the first things I did when I came into office was to launch the IT dashboard. it’s bottom-up. to build bombs and things like that. but really. To give you a data point. And a big part of that gap is because the villain is mostly the CIOs. Kundra: And I was talking to all these startups.302 Vivek Kundra: First CIO of the United States of America And we must make sure that we are not focused on the silly notion of “perimeter security. Yourdon: Right. ’cause there are lots more of them.” because that’s dead. across the board. Kundra: Mm-hmm. Yourdon: Mm-hmm.” and so now it’s going bottom-up. and everybody brings their gadget into the office. probably typified most by Google. That’s how it should have been. “Well. one of the interesting things that I wasn’t anticipating—which I’ve heard from several people in my interviews—is a shift that has taken place from when I got into the field. which is a pretty significant change.

Yourdon: Another thing that I heard which I know you’ve been involved with for quite some time—I think the best phrase is from a futurist named Clay Shirky with his term the “cognitive surplus”—this idea that probably for the first time in history. Yourdon: That’s right. the classic example of which is. there aren’t really incentives to innovate. “Why is it that everybody hates enterprise software? Nobody’s ever said ‘I love my user experience.CIOs at Work Kundra: How great would it be if we could get some of the most innovative companies in this country to compete for some of these really large contracts? And a lot of the startups told me. Kundra: Mm-hmm. didn’t you? Kundra: When I was the chief technology officer in the District of Columbia. it’s like an IT cartel. Kundra: You’re constantly innovating and that isn’t happening in the enterprise space. “Well. your incentive is to increase margins. and I realized the only way I could do it was to 303 1 www.’” And people love some of these consumer solutions. That is why we have focused on going after some of these wasteful projects by killing them or turning them around. which is. Now you did that for the city of . Once you win the contract. Compare that with the consumer space where every day you’re one click away from extinction. These are huge changes in federal IT. We’ve been able to save $3 billion. Wikipedia. society has an excess of brainpower that can be contributed using computers for the greater good.” Yourdon: [laughter] Kundra: It’s a new world order. Yourdon: Right. and that’s part of what we’ve done in the federal government. some federal government employees are already using our solution. of course. Kundra: And part of the reason is also because these guys have monopolies. So if you have a five-year contract.appsfordemocracy. And those companies are actually obsessed with the customer experience. and I ask the CIOs a very simple question. Yourdon: But your Apps for Democracy1 I think is a wonderful example. one of the problems I was trying to solve was in introducing disruption in government IT.

it’s fascinating because I present seminars in Rome on Enterprise 2. and I got 47 “Well. Kundra: We started with 47 data sets. Yourdon: And $3. Kundra: Now through technology. And we also worked with Congress on the America COMPETES Act that now gives every agency the same authorities that DARPA and NASA have to launch challenges and prizes up to $50 million. the power of technology can be used actually to tap into millions of . What if I put up a challenge and tapped into the ingenuity of our citizens?” Yourdon: Right. “Here’s our problem.000 data sets. Kundra: Eli Lilly? Yourdon: And Pfizer. the pharmaceutical industry has been one of the best examples of. There’s one other one. one of the first things I did is launch data. Kundra: And if by democratizing data and challenging developers to build useful applications? What was amazing about this initiative is we only spent $50. it’s usually through these contracts or grants.0.” And crowd-source solutions. Yourdon: Right.000. I got for 50 grand. who really cares about tapping into the ingenuity of the American people.2 million.304 Vivek Kundra: First CIO of the United States of America change the paradigm. wait a second. And the people that I meet in Rome are just astounded and can’t believe that anybody would be doing this. What would normally have cost millions.2 million in savings? Kundra: Right. to conduct commerce. to socialize. what you have is a digital public square that’s global. And that is why when I came into the Administration. Yourdon: Really? Kundra: Agencies can say. which ended up saving about $3. And the model was broken. and up until now. Yourdon: Okay. have you heard my other example that I use about Rome and the Agora? In the Agora people would convene in a public square to petition their government. and now we’ve got over 400. Kundra: Well. especially for this president. because the way the government buys IT. and I realized. of this concept. We want it solved and are willing to pay $50 million. So the ability to convene and to harness. Yourdon: You know. I gave people 30 days.

com . and their impact on how they’re going to use technology to impact government or society. or whatever you want to call them. Boston. all over the country. again. “If I can see you. The other one is the Government Accountability Office [(GAO)]. Yourdon: Ahh. But if I don’t see you. But. whether you’re in the Bay Area. The Patent and Trademark Office is one of the leaders in teleworking. I’ve had trouble tracking down some. And I’ll tell you what one of the things that the President did when he came into office. which has been the old. 305 2 www. It’s nothing like a government office today. Yourdon: [laughter] Kundra: We’ve looked at what the next-generation workforce will look like.CIOs at Work people across the country to solve some of the toughest problems this country faces. It’s been an amazing success. Kundra: They’ve got 50 percent of their workforce teleworking. Yourdon: Hmm. I know you’re working. and they’ve been able to quantify work. traditional model. Yourdon: Well. those have been isolated examples. okay. I’d mentioned there was a third area I wanted to chat with you about since I’m watching the clock: your thoughts about the impact that the next generation. 20 years from now. New York. Not a year or 2 from now. I’m delighted to hear it—it’s got this kind of central thrust behind it because the examples I’ve seen so far have been very few and far between. 15. Silicon Valley. 10. rather than a few people behind closed doors. Yourdon: Right. Are you optimistic or pessimistic? Kundra: Well. you’re in Austin. He said he wanted to make sure that government service was cool. Kundra: But there are two shining examples. Kundra: The leading trends. And they’re able to attract some of the smartest people across the country. the digital natives.clevercommute. you’re not working. I’m actually very. There’s one in New York called Clever Commute2.” Yourdon: Right. and what they’ve done is rejected the old model of managing through sight. very optimistic.

which is an area that we pay a lot of attention to. And I’m delighted to hear that there are initiatives underway that. whether it’s in South Africa or in India or in China. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. the approach and the underlying technical architecture is fundamentally different than when you’re designing solutions for 310 million people. And if you extend that. with 1. Kundra: Well. with what’s going on in Egypt and the use of social media. . Yourdon: Right. or China. Kundra: We’re very interested in looking at some other leapfrog technologies. Kundra: It’s exciting. for us to be able to attract the best people in the country. and how they will fundamentally alter development and commerce.3 billion people. Aha. Yourdon: Some guy just found one of his spare PCs in the garage and used that and $500 from his credit card to get it started. Yourdon: Yeah. But beyond that. or frugal engineering in India. it is exciting. Umm. okay.306 Vivek Kundra: First CIO of the United States of America Kundra: Now that happened because after the anthrax attack the Senate had to evacuate. For example. I was unaware of. we’ve got to be able to fundamentally rethink the nature of work and this notion that people are only productive 9-to-5 in a single location. Kundra: But the most important thing for us is to make sure that what we’re doing is that we’re recognizing this trend of the rise of employeeowned. absolutely. Do you see any impact coming from the next generation outside of the so-called First World countries? You know. When you think of the scale of a country like India and the problems it has to solve with 1. mobile. then I assume that the next obvious step is that entrepreneurial startup model is going to operate in China and India and Africa and all over the world. pretty much illustrated by what’s going on in the Middle East right now. They took over the GAO building. I think that also changes the balance of power in a lot of ways. what does mobile commerce look like. you know. I think. Yourdon: I see. the three megatrends in social. when you get devices that are cheap enough that anyone in the world can afford them. fascinating. and cloud.1 billion people. and as I mentioned. in terms of how are they are leapfrogging. And GAO employees had to look at innovative technologies to continue their work.

CIOs at Work Kundra: President Obama has said that we’re going to win the future by out-innovating. that the “innovator’s dilemma” doesn’t kick in.S. I’ve got to run. Yourdon: Yeah. whether you look at cloud. and the innovation that’s happening. you look at what we’re doing in the context of digital oil. especially in all of these three megatrends is actually leading-edge. outcompeting on a global scale. Yourdon: [laughter] Kundra: Unfortunately. Kundra: How do we disrupt that? The key is going to be to make sure that as Clay Christensen says. 307 . And we’re in a very good position because the U. Yourdon: I very much appreciate your time. economy.

Department of Defense. where he began as director of administration and information systems. with direct responsibility and accountability for the NASA computing and telecommunication information infrastructure. and NASA Paul Strassmann is currently a Distinguished Professor of Information Sciences at the George Mason School of Information Technology.S.. and Chief Information Officer for Kraft Foods Inc. Previously he was the acting Chief Information Officer of NASA. with worldwide responsibility for all internal Xerox computer activities. He is also the author of more than 250 articles and nine books on various aspects of information technology. he was the Director of Defense Information. U. . Strassmann’s earlier career includes the Xerox Corporation. Department of Defense. where he was responsible for organizing and managing the corporate information management (CIM) program across the U. He also held the job of Corporate Information Officer for General Foods.. and from which he retired as Vice President of Strategic Planning for the Information Products Group.CHAPTER 16 Paul Strassmann Former CIO for Kraft Foods Inc. Before that. Mr. and where he had policy oversight for the Defense Department’s information technology expenditures. Xerox Corp.S.

and two of those lectures are on virtualization and cloud computing. In other words. And it’s all I’ve done. whether it’s the military or any other industry. if you’re looking further into the future. Yourdon: Well. well. for whatever it’s worth.310 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Former CIO for Kraft Foods. the shifting economics of how do you equip an enterprise with information technology that’s long-lasting? And so you have to go towards cloud computing. Yourdon: Okay. Strassmann: And there are very few people who made it over two generations. about new trends that might influence the industry in general.S. Yourdon: Yes. my course. why don’t I start on something that I gather is part of what you’re lecturing on. and NASA Ed Yourdon: One of the things I want to ask you about. you could say you talked to the oldest holder of the CIO title in. Strassmann: If you’re looking for a catchphrase for the book. By the way. there are clearly trends. Are you spending a lot of time worrying and thinking about things like virtualization and cloud computing and so forth? Strassmann: Oh absolutely. of Defense. perhaps in the world. And they are three-hour lectures. Yourdon: Fascinating. Because even today I am basically a professor teaching CIOs. they used to fall out and fall off at the end of a generation. but the life expectancy of a CIO has always been very short. U. That definitely is true. is your opinions about some of the trends you have seen over the years as [a] CIO. Dept. are there other things? Strassmann: Yes. because of your position. Yourdon: [laughter] Ahh… that obviously will give you a better perspective. You must understand that I’ve been a CIO since ’61. And maybe they fell off after the second generation. that I’m starting … has 13 lectures. . Strassmann: And the significance is really driven by the economics. there are very few people that I know of who have been in the CIO position as long as I have. You have to validate that. Yourdon: Or are there. that obviously gives it some great significance. Xerox. Strassmann: And I’ve been pulling this stunt now for a long time. In other words. Paul Strassmann: Yeah. Perhaps.

And the virtualization then became the [springboard] for going to the next generation—namely. okay. namely. if you can virtualize all these things. a progression from virtualization. but I just want to comment that the whole underlying issue is one of economics. which means lots of things. That firm became VMware. Strassmann: VMware has now about an 80 percent market share of virtualization. But when I got started in computing. Today manpower is extremely expensive. Yourdon: Okay. It’s looking at the whole issue of virtualization and cloud computing as a transformation. 311 . [laughter] Strassmann: Manpower was cheap. which also seems like a clear-cut economic issue for any large organization. IBM manpower didn’t matter. is really an extension. The economics will drive you. And then all of the other stuff is then devoted to other objectives. Strassmann: I don’t know where you are leading with this. And what is really happening with all of this environment is the shifting from a dominant part of the IT budget. a whole shifting of the cost structure. that means you can suddenly draw in huge complexes. Strassmann: You know. so-called cloud computing. to less than 10 percent. Yourdon: Ah. I’m a shareholder and my son is one of the ringleaders. Yourdon: Right. Yourdon: Right. Economy of scale will drive you to a huge scale.CIOs at Work Yourdon: The less exotic sort of form or sister of that is the virtualization approach. But then you have to do something with software. which is hardware. a cloud. Yourdon: That’s right. Strassmann: And you achieve that through cloud computing and virtualization. You know. They would have thousands of servers on all over the place. we’re talking about billion-dollar data centers. Strassmann: So. I’ve been following VMware. You know. The foundations of cloud computing were really laid by a Stanford professor by the name of Mendel—who created the idea of a universal virtualization with capability. 90 percent of my budget was hardware.

Dept. the power of the economics will totally. the kind of separation that’s more readily apparent right now in the industry is the big. Yourdon: Right. is not economics but rather the more familiar things like security and privacy. Strassmann: Well. Security and economics are not inconsistent. And in the old days. although it’s interesting that I participated in a cloud computing conference in Rome a couple of months ago. Strassmann: Let me give it to you: those are not inconsistent. Now the thing has shifted. depending on how you do the architecture. certainly. versus the more established firms. and the economics of you as contrasted with the farmer in Kansas is totally different. where are you going to put this security? Yourdon: Ah. Now we are in an urban area now. of Defense. Strassmann: Oh. but the economics of the police department in New York is totally different to the economics of the guy with the gun in Kansas. That was the security. making his own latrine. and buying a can of kerosene. Yourdon: Okay. see? Yourdon: Aha. Sure. okay. Security. .S.312 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Former CIO for Kraft Foods. yeah. Yourdon: Okay. now we have a different security. You are really like the guy in the cottage 200 years ago—going to Kansas and building a house out of local wood. you’ve got lots of places where you can put your first line of defenses. that’s the usual stuff. the farmer in Kansas had his own Winchester. the obstacle. Strassmann: See. can be very cheap. You know. totally dominate. regulated companies versus the smaller companies that have no regulation—where there’s less concern about security and privacy and more of a willingness to really take advantage of the economics. sure. Strassmann: Right now everybody’s loading their power with firewalls and antiviruses and so forth. you are a New Yorker. and NASA Yourdon: Well. U.” Yourdon: Meaning what. Interesting. where you could see there’s still enormous resistance—showing that the barrier. you expect it to fade away? Strassmann: Oh yeah. it will all be swept away because the economics. The question is. Xerox. That’s what’s called “friction. I can appreciate that that’s the driver.

What I see of virtualization is that it’s no longer a leading-edge or early adopter stuff. You know. They’re global now.000 servers in one building. one of the ways of dealing with the problem of security is to look at the cost of protection. And is your argument that because the economics are shifting so rapidly … the security friction will be taken care of because there’s so much more money available? Strassmann: Yeah. Yourdon: Cloud computing is a little further out. Strassmann: Well. Or are you protecting yourself against exfiltration? Yourdon: Stuff leaking out? Strassmann: Yeah. It’s becoming mainstream. Most of it is wasted. where money went out because of insiders. Oh. Yourdon: Because they put it in the wrong place? Strassmann: Too many places. Yourdon: Sure. interesting. Strassmann: So then the question is. So those technologies are big ones in terms of your vision of the future. I’ve been involved with Citicorp. well. I looked at companies that provide servers that have over 100. The Department of Defense now spends over 50 percent of its budget on security. Strassmann: Many places. So every bank today and every financial institution has a problem with exfiltration. interesting. I have a list of cloud computing companies. I don’t know if you’ve looked at the list. if you are confronted with infiltration. it depends. it is. exfiltration. And certainly the Department of Defense has a big problem with exfiltration.CIOs at Work Strassmann: So security is a thing that is thrown out without any really thought given to the whole question of what the security issues are and where do you spend your money on security. Yourdon: Ahh. okay. there’s all kinds of infiltration. and what do you protect against? Are you protecting yourself against infiltration? And you know. Strassmann: Yes. what are you going to do about it? And how are you going to protect against it? Yourdon: Okay. 313 . You know. Yourdon: Too many places. Yourdon: Wow.

And you buy the server. Strassmann: Yeah. and they don’t want to let it into the protected area. no. I agree. you’ve got no capital. They may actually give you. no problem. Strassmann: So you can feed in an application. and you’re done. they are not dwarfed. Yourdon: Yeah. for 25 cents a minute. if you are in a given corporation. Strassmann: In other words. They give you very good security. of Defense. They are being taken care of. you just go out to Amazon and you buy yourself a server. My point is that the security on Amazon EC2 is cheap. so that if there are concerns about privacy or security. a big Dell server. implementation. and NASA Strassmann: So a huge amount of business is now being channeled to cloud computing. I hadn’t really thought about that: that for a lot of companies.S. Yourdon: You’re right. There are too many damn servers. One of the intriguing things is that many of the startups are experiments—in other words. It’s thoroughly accepted today.314 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Former CIO for Kraft Foods. Yourdon: Ah. A lot of the articles that I’ve been seeing lately about government agencies switching to Google Apps and Google Mail1 is driven by the economics. for 25 cents a minute. particularly because of legacy instances. for the same bucks. And then you can try out your idea. the existing security. if they do make a comparison. a complicated application. Xerox. Dept. no. Pay with a credit card. Strassmann: Well. U. sure. no. those are dwarfed by the savings. . and if it fails. and you want to experiment with something. Yourdon: Yeah. 25 cents an hour. 1 Gmail. Yourdon: That’s a very good point. and for less than $14. they would have to acknowledge that their existing security is not very good to begin with. you cannot just go and do this without taking care of security. a security that’s better than anything that you have right now in your data center. No. I’m looking at a population of approximately a quarter of a million servers. okay. Strassmann: No. And some of the stuff that is available as a service like Google Apps. There are hundreds of thousands of people using Google Apps now. get it done.

Strassmann: Well. Strassmann: Oh. a financial analyst. or combines it. or needs feeds.000 major applications and untold number of local homegrown fixes. “I want to do something different. a venture capitalist. You know. Protecting the feeds and so forth. put it in. and in addition to this. and they buy it. The heart of the enterprise is software. Oh. what you find is that there’s always somebody who needs something—an operator. doing bridges between system A and system B. you must be kidding. but are running around fixing things. You know. and use it. Strassmann: When you look at the budget of a typical installation. Yourdon: I remember you giving me similar numbers back in the early ’90s about the number of payroll systems you had seen in data centers all over the Defense Department. Strassmann: So you are really looking at an environment where the technology is largely misused because the integration isn’t there. And.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Wow. Strassmann: Interoperability. You know. what other key technology trends do you see on the horizon that we should be thinking about or planning for? Particularly if you have a longer horizon than the rest of the CIOs that I’m talking to. and most importantly. you’ll find that the bulk of the people are not in the computer room. I’m looking at 750 data centers just in the Department of Defense. But then somebody either merges it. Yourdon: Well. I want to have millisecond response. yeah. So the big question of integration is. Yourdon: Aha. absolute killer. improving things. [laughter] Strassmann: Doing 7. aside from virtualization and cloud computing. It’s a killer. and that’s when they start hiring somebody to do feeds. You try to tell me that they have security? I mean. So when you look at your budget. what kinds of applications and through what protocols are you going to be writing those applications? Are web pages to be interoperable? 315 .” So they just go and buy something. downloading things. you will discover that you may tie up almost all of your available resources on maintenance. yeah. Yourdon: True. the heart of an enterprise is data. Yourdon: Okay.

The future is really in how a CIO will create an environment which will provide his customers with the ability to operate in an extremely information-rich environment that is extremely complex and that must be secure. Yourdon: And I guess that’s my concern. U. Well. And from multiple databases it will do what’s called a mash-up and bring back an answer to you in the protocol that deals with a certain human interface. the future is not cloud. sometimes millions of applications that depend on each other. I mean. 30 years. the technology has not been mature. so it will go to discover where the pieces are. of Defense. You have to automate the interoperability between data and applications and then have a layer which then will allow a new application to come in. Yourdon: You’ve mentioned another aspect of this that I wanted to touch on. Strassmann: A button. Yourdon: Right. Dept.S. where you have a billion-dollar network called the Internet and inside the network survive thousands. Yourdon: Right. Yourdon: Are you essentially talking about the buzzword that for years and years has been known as enterprise architecture integration? Strassmann: Sure. Xerox. And that button will have the protocols. And you don’t have the human intervention labor to do all of that. Former CIO for Kraft Foods. Strassmann: There is a whole cohort of contractors who live like that. First. . a new app—or 99 cents. The emphasis on people building their own shanties in Kansas.316 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Yourdon: Okay. this idea has been around for a long time. They would be all blown away. So the future is not virtualization. and that is the transition from a CIO environment where the enterprise owns and controls the technology versus the world that we’re beginning to see more and more of now. Strassmann: Well. That’s their business. it hasn’t happened for a number of reasons. of employee-owned technology. and NASA Strassmann: So to answer your question of what is the technology that I view in the next 20. it really deals with the subject of integration and service-oriented architecture. and having a can of kerosene has been very strong. digging their own latrine. It’s been around and it hasn’t happened yet. the place is full of people who do maintenance programming.

when you sit down at a Mac. And they’re doing all of that. I cannot allow that. But it’s more in that direction than the CIO of the past. it was all put together by a bunch of amateurs. No. So that’s where the real control comes in. Yourdon: Well. Yourdon: Oh. no. no. 30 years ago. I have cut a link with my interoperability and my security.CIOs at Work Strassmann: No. Because if I give you an iPod. you control it in terms of whether you buy a Mac or a Windows machine. yes and no. Strassmann: So the employee still owns … you know. When I wanted an application. what would you say have been the most significant changes? 317 . I want to choose for you. So if you think you control technology. no. I mean. no. See. “You can’t have one of these. looking back over 40 or 50 years. don’t kid yourself. got a computer and debugged it and did all of the other stuff. It’s an issue because behind all of that thing is the interoperability. it’s the interoperability. Strassmann: Now you have a bunch of people like my son who are really deeply embedded in real fancy software. You don’t even know what the code is. for people to go in the way I did it 20. Yourdon: Okay. that was home-improvised. fine. And I don’t like the fact that there are 300. Strassmann: Well. okay. much longer than anyone else’s? Two generations of a career. but technology is not the issue anymore. interesting. got a bunch of programmers. we designed it. the apps. as you say. And it’s all available for you by pushing a button. the related question I had is: What was the most significant change or development that you’ve seen now that your career is. no. But that was home-cooked. really fancy software. Strassmann: It’s a question of whether the CIO of the future will really be a sort of master orchestrator. Well. One of the battles that I see going on in companies all over the place is the CIO who says. you don’t own its code. Yourdon: Okay.000 apps and you can choose. You’ve got to have a BlackBerry. the employee owns the buttons. like a conductor—although it’s a poor analogy. Yourdon: Okay. Yourdon: Sure. I went in. The infrastructure —which may be either local for a number of reasons or part of a cloud environment—it’s somebody else’s.” Strassmann: Well.

totally new character of people. of Defense. I could go off on that tangent. it’s an intelligence organization. So now you are in a much higher level. We were not allowed into the computer room or even the Xerox room. It was a block building with a deep cellar for tapes and what-have-you with a nuclear resistor.S. I built the Xerox video center that ran the United States. The technology is in the wall. Navy. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Strassmann: Because with all these Predators running around doing color video data and stuff like that. Yourdon: [laughter] Of course not. Dept. and now the issues are much bigger. which I consider one of the leading organizations. And so you’ve gone away from technology. gigabytes-per-second downloads in Afghanistan? That is not an IT problem anymore. it was a controlled commodity. But when you look at the staffing in the organization. because hardware was so expensive.318 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Former CIO for Kraft Foods.” And it had guards at the beginning. What about kind of an even broader version of that? Certainly I remember when I started. You had mentioned earlier an obvious transition from the era where hardware was expensive and people were cheap. Nobody does that anymore. In other words. They have to do with the issue of how the computing environment is going to be harnessed to support your business. Xerox. And the entire progression since ’53 or ’54. U. and NASA Strassmann: Maybe a few things. Strassmann: Look. And one of the most interesting things that happened in the U. You still have to understand how to orchestrate the technology. I built it in 1971. Strassmann: And it had a wire fence. compared to where we are now. Now you buy everything. Yourdon: Really? Strassmann: They created information technology and intelligence into one unit. Because they basically decided information technology is really an arm of intelligence.S. The issue is what do you do with this massive. Totally brought in. Yourdon: Interesting. and it was called “Strassmann’s concentration camp. but let me go back to this question of what has been significant over the last 40 or 50 years. Last March they decided to abolish the function of information technology as a separate function. Strassmann: But then you are moving to a much higher level. In other words. . including some technologists. in ’54 I actually plug-wired the plugboards. Yourdon: [laughter] So that the tapes would survive.

you go in. not cheap. and you can’t get in. Well. And you may have forty. the cost of electricity and air conditioning costs more than the servers. That’s amazing. You must understand. finding sources of energy. And. by the way. wouldn’t you agree that there are many forms of technology that are almost free for the individual in terms of being able to go down to the local store and buy it and use it? Strassmann: Oh yeah. and there’s a row of cages. we’re in a world where the hardware is cheap and is a commodity and available to everybody in some form. if you have an organization.CIOs at Work the whole thing. Certainly. on some level. Yourdon: Yeah. fifty thousand servers in that room. Strassmann: The question is. No way. I built a data center. sort of outside your borders entirely? 319 . Strassmann: And those block houses. Strassmann: What choice do they have? Yourdon: Yeah. though. Strassmann: You know. It’s in block houses. anybody can go to Radio Shack and buy some fantastic technology. You can go to Secaucus and see buildings that look like block houses. how do you bring the technology? I have no problem with people going to Radio Shack and buying some widget. and nobody could come in without permission and clearance and God knows what. Yourdon: Right. Yourdon: Versus a generation ago. and in those cages are either dedicated servers or utility servers. Strassmann: No. Under what conditions will they be allowed to do that? Yourdon: What if they create their own data and communicate it with their friends. And its own uninterrupted power supply. Yourdon: So now 40 years later. My problem arises when they come with technology and want to draw on data that I own. Those are data centers. that’s an interesting transition when you see the effort that Amazon or Google are making in terms of supporting conservation and. It’s just totally different. Yourdon: That’s true.

Yourdon: Ahh. In the Navy. with access and password access. the ships go out for 8 months. Strassmann: That becomes a very dicey issue. And it’s a very detailed issue. Do you see it gravitating. of Defense. Who is the guy who gave all of the Wiki stuff? Strassmann: Oh. some don’t. how do you make sure—because they are using the same transmission circuits. They do social computing. but nobody knew. which [are] satellites—how do you make sure that they are not used for infiltration and exfiltration? Yourdon: Right. Xerox. Do you see that elsewhere? Strassmann: No. it’s also in every financial organization.S. Some people talk about it. U. Everybody’s got the same problem. The guys get bored silly. I didn’t know that. you know. It has to do with the design of the software. a low-level sergeant. much of the drawings of their electrical car leaked out to the Chinese. 60 percent of transmission today. Yourdon: Yeah. I thought he was the more traditional one. but there’s a disgruntled employee sitting in a cubicle. Ames provided to the Russians. Yourdon: Well. that’s where I was going. Dept. that financial organizations will be the next one? Strassmann: All commercial. It’s the design of the client or how much do you permit an edition of a browser to be in that machine? Yourdon: It’s obviously a very serious issue within the military. Yourdon: [laughter] So it would seem! Strassmann: And so the real issue is. we have that problem. if they want to do social computing—and by the way. And then. particularly on ships.320 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Former CIO for Kraft Foods. which he had no business accessing. You know. to [Julian] Assange? Or is that someone else? Strassmann: No. Yourdon: But the same problem? . Strassmann: Oh yeah. you have this big thing in France because in Peugeot. And he rode through CIA and accessed files. you know. right now. Yourdon: Is he the one that provided it to the WikiLeaks guy. and NASA Strassmann: Oh. Ames who was in counterintelligence. then you have things like intelligence like [Aldrich] Ames.

Right now. I’ve been tracking the costs of overhead in the United States. 321 . General Motors bought EDS. you know. And by the way. Strassmann: And the clerks loved to be computer operators. are you going to permit people to burn their own CDs? And. They do very little trading. the controllers. Yourdon: Okay. [laughter] Amazing. I’m just giving you little tricks you can play. the real issue is that when you start looking at these big trading rules and you say. the stuff that is being reported is defective. Strassmann: So you are suddenly seeing a shift which is externalization of IT from an enclave. Yourdon: Really? Strassmann: So now you are dealing with a problem. I have several trays in there [pointing to his desktop computer] with CDs. So everybody. and one of the most interesting cases comes from General Motors. the people who are sitting in the room are actually information processors. which was identified as a capital cost enclave to something which is now part of overhead. “What are these people doing?” Much of what they are doing is actually data processing. The stuff that is reported that he downloaded. Yourdon: Ahh. Yourdon: Right. .CIOs at Work Strassmann: Same problem. exfiltration. Well. Now. WikiLeaks has a list of all the people who had accounts in the Cayman Islands. Yourdon: Right. Where I showed that it was someone else’s payroll. Much of the cost used to be capital purchase. You see. it used to be that everybody was budgeting the cost of money. today on a DVD. you can put a big database. so I put the printer out with the users. You know. I reduced head count in my bursting decollection room. In other words. It’s part of the overhead cost. It’s a totally different way of looking at it. that’s a threemillion download. Any other significant changes and developments that you think have really been worth mentioning over your career? Strassmann: Yeah. and sent out by mail for WikiLeaks. you see? It’s a CIO against a moving . the awareness of money. . you know. it’s a shell game. which was enormous. and that was it. So. were watching capital purchases and head count. So that has been a shift. he cut a CD. Strassmann: So. I beat this thing very quickly by deciding to move my output out to the user. And it was head count in the data shop.

Very important and growing in importance. Dept. Yourdon: That certainly is true. The women became administrators. of Defense. Interesting. coming back to your question. Yourdon: Across the board. Hardly anybody makes anything. and it’s growing in complexity and there are issues of cost. There are some deep issues of cost—who is actually paying for Internet? Yourdon: Right. but people who do information processing. 87 percent of their cost were purchases of parts. Information processing. General Motors. Xerox. Strassmann: Who is making a profit out of the Internet? There is increased demand for high bandwidth. would you include the Internet or the Web or Google or those things? Strassmann: Oh yeah. If there was a list of really significant developments over the last 40 or 50 years. at the worst time. There are going to be billions of nodes on the Internet. basically we don’t have secretaries anymore. Yourdon: Aha. The women love computers because it allows them to upgrade themselves from a secretary position to an administrator. Strassmann: Sure. So the ratio of the truth-to-tell ratio went the wrong way. Yourdon: Wow. yeah. So. so you’re talking about 10. So as General Motors started outsourcing … by the way. Strassmann: So one of perhaps the major insights for your book is that when I look at America and where we are going. There’s also the question of computing at the edge rather than computing in the center in order to reduce latency because if you are . Sure. but the operating cost moved into the overhead of General Motors. and NASA Strassmann: I was very much involved in that. Yourdon: Okay. I’m seeing the dominant occupation is information processing 30gigabyte circuits. What really basically happened is that it showed up as an acquisition capital cost. Really? Strassmann: The rest of it was overhead. So everybody got upgraded. the Internet is very important. Which is not just people in jobs labeled as IT. what I do see is recognition that today the bulk of the population of America [are] information processors. U.322 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Yourdon: I remember that. Strassmann: And.S. Former CIO for Kraft Foods.

No way. 323 . So then you have to start working on the redundancies. Nothing wrong about that. Strassmann: And I have another one at Virginia Tech. unless they do something crazy. in particular. Strassmann: And also that with technical issues. Yourdon: I think that’s only a problem if we make them so miserable that they want to go back or we make it so difficult to get in that they can’t get in. I’m keeping everybody on the narrow. at the elite end—I have a grandson at Carnegie-Mellon. Those guys are going to be hotshots and they’re going to do very well. because that is not where the fun is and where the money is. half of my class will not be Americans. Strassmann: He doesn’t want to be a big boss. You know. Yourdon: Right. So. He’s a programmer. The funny thing is. He’s taking a degree in software engineering. Yourdon: I certainly agree. In other words.CIOs at Work in a certain situation. availability. is 99. it varies. particularly in Wall Street. Some of the trading is now. also doing electrical engineering. So the issues are enormous. can’t be done. IT workers. He’s doing extremely well. deep issues here of latency. Yourdon: But as you say. The whole generational issue. Do you see significant differences in the behavior or attitude of the generation of workers. that’s what the Chinese are going into. people are fighting nanosecond delay in differences. it goes only so far and then you’re dealing against the inexorable problem of electrical or mechanical failure. Yourdon: Yeah. my friend. All I’m saying is there’s some deep. The class I’m going to be teaching. those are all examples of the elite. coming out of college today as opposed to a generation or two generations ago? Strassmann: Well. you know. Strassmann: It’s the elite. half of them are not Americans. My son has a PhD from MIT. I think it’s wonderful if we attract them in and they stay here. where do you put your redundancies? Because there is no way of improving reliability on a single server. And by the way. up time. They pay him extremely well. the big problem we have is when you look at the Silicon Valley software factories. Let me jump on to an area we’ve not talked about and I’m certain you have some strong opinions. Yourdon: Right. You see. I mean.999 percent an acceptable level of reliability? Very difficult to do. this guy is going to be a hotshot.

a very nice personal kid. And some of them are doing very well.324 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Former CIO for Kraft Foods. but he’s a fluff. The big problem I have is with the young generation. And I’m not just talking about the ones that are going to go into a formal career of IT but. not suitable. are coming out of high school or college with an exposure to technology and information. In other words. Yourdon: True. PowerPoint slides. they’re really no good. so I have them at my class. Yourdon: And you think this has been going on for a generation? Strassmann: Oh. high school stuff. They’re no good. okay. Yourdon: Certainly you hear a lot of people complaining about the level of superficiality of the younger generation. They don’t bore down. You know. and we cannot get into this. the white-collar . Yourdon: Ahh. they will just glide away. and from grade schools up. He’s in California. Strassmann: They don’t bore down. all of these kids. he’s a better personality than my geeks. he’s in Davis. obviously. He’s a nice kid. Dept. They are superficial. a scientist to start going into the details and starting to examine how the thing works. Yourdon: Do you know why that is true? Or how that has happened? Strassmann: I absolutely blame grade schools. they are not engineers. I have seven grandchildren who have gone through the public school system. the University of California in Davis. the gloss. They have learned how to operate toys. Strassmann: Their mental state is behavioral. that is not science-oriented. I’m also an educator. It’s all this grade school. please. You know. you cannot have an in-depth conversation. give me a break. By the way. Strassmann: I mean. of Defense. Xerox. I really despair of the current generation. it varies. and I have one grandchild who is a marvelous kid. Strassmann: Oh they think they know technology. so I watch these kids. this has been creeping up since the ’60s. generally speaking. The bulk of it is not good. They think they know computers. Yourdon: Okay. and NASA Strassmann: Well. They don’t have the mental mechanics of an engineer. that they don’t bore down.S. They’re an outgrowth of an education that is not rigorous. U. Yourdon: [laughter] Well. And I’m talking about fairly high-level people. I’m talking about rear admirals and up.

325 . yeah. not just by the ugly user interface. And. Strassmann: Let me just say. this fellow in California said the average college kid gets up and his first question is. they would be horrified. They just can’t cope with it.0 movement and talked to one guy in a start-up company who said. and things of that sort that cater to that orientation. And then you hire a contractor to do the contract. “Today’s colleges have never seen Microsoft Outlook. They are just not . because I get up in the morning and my first question is. at least partly. with people demanding this or that and everything. that they have a whole different focus instead of the priorities their parents’ generation did? Let me give you an example. . but the contractor will make sure that whatever the contractor does for you is not fungible. And then you always find a contractor. the analysis. I’m very unhappy with the modern generation. when things went to hell. It’s social. Yourdon: So they need tools. calendars. “What tasks do I have today?” which is often a function of the e-mail messages I’ve gotten overnight. so. Do you see them making bad use of their toys or superficial use of their toys? Strassmann: Well. And then the contractor provides the brains.” Which appeals to me. I went out to California in the fairly early days of the whole Web 2. so you hire more people to do less and less. And. this is not an information society. Yourdon: What happened then? Strassmann: We have now $15 trillion’s worth of debt and going up. Yourdon: [laughter] Okay. they don’t have the ability to bore down into any problem. as you say. but by its task orientation. which means that the contractor will stay there for a long time. Yourdon: Could it also possibly be. . And they find the older generation of tools completely alien from that perspective. And if they did.CIOs at Work workers who come into the workforce with their toys. it varies. everything was fine until three years ago. “Where are my friends and what are they doing? And how can I find them?” Strassmann: It’s social. Strassmann: Yeah. Yourdon: Well. Yourdon: Or come back periodically to tweak it? Strassmann: Yeah.

Xerox. We’ve got a social problem. Yourdon: Absolutely. and NASA Strassmann: So everybody was fiddling and singing while it looked like everything was just great. you give them a summer job. You are going to have a social problem in the United States with a large mass of unemployed. they’re going to have a revolution. There are no jobs there. my advice to the CIOs today is what the baseball people do. college-educated people who think they’re entitled to a job of consequence. You just train them and then you get the good guys. Yourdon: Okay. Yourdon: Yeah.S. What I’ve done starting at General Foods. Can’t get jobs. of Defense. Enormous growth. U. The information jobs are not available because I need now less and less information people. the young people have 20 percent or more unemployment. because the manufacturing jobs are gone. Have a training farm somewhere. Yourdon: Aha. [laughter] Strassmann: Yeah. Yourdon: Oh. Now in Tunisia.326 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Former CIO for Kraft Foods. you know. half of them will be gone. Strassmann: So you handpick them. too. does all of this provide any guidance or recommendations for the CIO? What should you do with this wave of graduates coming in now? Strassmann: Do exactly what I’ve always done. Well. Suddenly. and some of these guys actually went to grad school and were still working and then they got full jobs. But you watch them. when you were at the Sloan School. Yourdon: Interesting. Strassmann: So. that’s right. Yourdon: Which is what? Strassmann: I’ve done this consistently. Now. there was 30 percent unemployment for people under 25. And then when I moved to Xerox. Dept. I’m one of those people. young. which is better than any other summer job they can get. Strassmann: So we’ve got a problem. Strassmann: So the growth in America among the intellectuals has been in government-supported activities. . and. and I will only hire the Carnegie-Mellon guys who can really do the job for me. You started that way. they moved with me. I made sure that I gave summer jobs to people that I could handpick. Well.

that was the first time ever. you must maintain a position of power. You must understand. . the battle between the CFO and the CIO is as old as … this is classic. They can bring their own toys. and he has power. Strassmann: Yeah. Strassmann: Now. it varies. And also sucked off most of the output out of the IT. And bring them along. Strassmann: Everybody has a budget. the CIO is a guy with a big stick. but up to a point. who really then was willing . grow the young guys and nurture them. he has a big stick. Strassmann: The CFO always used to own this thing. Yourdon: And how do you do that? How do you maintain this position of power? Strassmann: Well. What happened was that at General Foods. you’re gonna find yourself out of a job. What do they do with the hundreds or thousands of people they see being hired into the marketing department or finance department. Otherwise. It varies from place to place. if you don’t have power and you don’t have budget. you are nothing. let’s talk about practical politics. all of these other people? Strassmann: You can’t do that. when all is said and done. the Machiavellian view of the situation. Yourdon: Okay. Yourdon: But. for some organizations. You’re a CIO. Strassmann: Oh. You have a budget. And this lasted for a long time. So. 327 . as for all those other people? Because part of the problem is that they’re bringing their own toys with them and their own expectations about the technology they’ll use. the controller—a guy by the name of McDade—used to be MacArthur’s intelligence officer. okay? So the question is what are you going to do? You’re asking me what practical recommendation do I have for CIOs. You have a given power position. but you cannot allow those toys to come into the database. almost a generation. Yourdon: Sure. He has a budget. and my answer is. . You must understand. At General Foods I created an alliance with the CFO. As a CIO. Yourdon: Right. Yourdon: Probably a generation or more.CIOs at Work Yourdon: So that’s how he or she can groom their own IT staff.

and this is getting away from you. Strassmann: “And renting 7090s and really playing the big game. as compared with General Foods. I was just a low guy when a week later I become the director of information for General Foods. we hear good things about you. and NASA Strassmann: Yes. Dept.328 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Yourdon: Really? Former CIO for Kraft Foods. of course. “I understand now. Strassmann: And so that’s when the game played. “We’re going to cut his throat. “Well. and McDade is just trying to size me up. you know what? Why don’t you have a look at our financial statement?” It turns out Kraft was much bigger than General Foods. and you think you have control. When I got 2 A global advertising agency. And I said. I’m the new guy on the block. Yale and Harvard people used to go to the CIA. Strassmann: See. all the knives were out. And so McDade and I go out for lunch.” And the big issue in those days was advertising. you now. .” Now. and I had an alliance with McDade. doing their own thing. I get a phone call from the controller of Kraft: “You know. a very fine. Xerox. “You know. Harvard kind of person that used to gravitate toward CIA. I’m not sure. that’s the way it used to be done.” Yourdon: Right. U. And I said. educated.S. The moment McDade retired. The positions of all the controllers was. Yourdon: [laughter] Strassmann: And there was a raise. . Tom. And the money that Finance would spend and control and the stuff they were controlling at the factory was this much [gesturing with thumb and index finger close together]. So I just inherited one controller and went to work for another controller. “Kraft? You know. “Well. as they were ready to cut my throat. I mean. the problem is that you control it all now. Would you like to come over as director of information for all Kraft worldwide?” And I said. Yourdon: [laughter] Aha. of Defense. . Yourdon: That’s right. you know. then McDade decided to retire and I was his retirement play. but these marketing guys are really on their way out. The big money at General Foods was for advertising.” He said. He said. he was an elderly gentleman.” Well.” So McDade looks at me. these guys go out to BBDO2 . So you create alliances.

I took about $300 million out of Mr. just overload them. Yourdon: Break who? This aspiring CIO? Strassmann: Break them with work. you can usually spot one or two aspiring CIOs— the person who says. Now if you understand politics. Yourdon: That’s right. He comes into the Pentagon. that plays into my next question. Perot.” Strassmann: Oh sure. “Oh. Yourdon: Interesting. 329 . “Some day I want his job. Well. “I’m going to start a corporate information management initiative. So as they yank it out. Otherwise you can’t play. you may have given the answer. The deputy secretary. Yourdon: Yeah. we’re going to leave you three billion to do efficiency. You’re going to make it up with efficiency. Strassmann: So from a political standpoint. And I know just the bastard who knows how to do it. the issue was one of alliances. had enough of General Motors and Mr. Strassmann: Congress decided to declare a peace dividend: $74 billion. Perot.” Yourdon: [laughter] Strassmann: Because I did a hatchet man’s job at General Motors. by the way. Just give them as much work as they can carry. Obviously if you’re a CIO and you’ve got lots of people below you. Inside. just break them. the rest of it is just details. so he was ready to roll over. And Congress can just take the money. the deputy secretary is Mr. and it’s gone. the secretary is Mr. and well. Yourdon: What’s the key advice that you would give that person? Strassmann: Give them hell. in fact. and everyone knew in the building that I saw Atwood once a week. he says. So he brought me in.” Cheney turns around and brings in the vice chairman of General Motors as his deputy secretary. months later. looks around. Yourdon: Right. they say. an outstanding MIT engineer. a spectacular engineer. Outside. yank the money out. So I was Atwood’s man. and. Strassmann: Okay.CIOs at Work into the Department of Defense. You know. I came to the Department of Defense when the Soviet Union gave up. you must have an alliance with a source of power. if you want to be a CIO.

12 hours a day. Something I’ve heard that I didn’t expect is CIOs telling me. Yourdon: Okay. Long hours. That actually is part of a related question. Strassmann: But some of these are loyalties. Strassmann: Everybody knew I was fair. Yourdon: Interesting. Yourdon: Oh. be equally tough? . but you don’t have to be buddies. what key qualities or characteristics do you look for among the people that form that team that you depend on? Strassmann: Hard work. I don’t believe in that. there’s a whole bunch of people who come over to Xerox. “I want people on my team that I can get along with. then. Yourdon: And in terms of looking for the people who were going to help you do that. Yourdon: Ahh. of Defense. and the question here is: as a CIO. And they may stay with you. which then persist. that took some muscle. So when you move from Kraft to Xerox. which I hadn’t really thought of when I started this whole thing— and that is. Dept. okay. you want to have people you like. who knows? But you’re going to get a couple of years of good work out of them. U. they’re always available. I really was. but I was a bastard. Yourdon: Okay. You know. I was driving to consolidate data centers at Xerox in order to come into a company that only 67 percent of its bills got out on time. everybody’s buddies.S. they may go somewhere else. you were mostly looking for people who would work really hard. okay.” Strassmann: Oh. A good man can do an infinite amount of work.330 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Yourdon: Oh. Xerox. CIOs generally have a whole team of immediate subordinates that help them get their job done. because if you’re going to be working hard. Strassmann: When there is a crisis. Inheriting a data center run by local controllers and mash it all together in two years. Yourdon: So your advice to aspiring CIOs would be: show your ability to take on an enormous amount of work and succeed with it? Strassmann: Oh yeah. Former CIO for Kraft Foods. and NASA Strassmann: Just see how much they can do. I see. you have to get along.

Well. Never personalities. Yourdon: Ahh. because you have to spend time finding out what is feasible and what can be done and 331 . you know. you needed people who really go and work. it has to be done in a very gentlemanly way. I go back. If you consider that sort of thing a priority. And in the military. But let’s go further with that. Strassmann: And this guy. this is the military view. you know. And I had none of that.CIOs at Work Strassmann: Yeah. You must understand that if you were a commanding officer. absolutely. He decides he’s going to attack the IT establishment when I was ready to take computers away from these little places where they were accumulating their own enclaves of power. Strassmann: And then you have to spend time with lawyers. one of the few Jews who had a command of a regiment in World War I. have you seen situations where some of the other business executives might misunderstand or feel differently? Strassmann: Oh. Yourdon: And who would be there if there was a crisis? Strassmann: Yeah. Harvard Business School has a case study of a division controller at Xerox versus Strassmann. you know the team spirit and the dedication and the commitment and the loyalties are very important. Strassmann: You never use personalities. nasty stuff. Strassmann: So. Yourdon: And so that just gets to be a power struggle? Strassmann: Well. it’s nasty stuff. You know. okay. who hoped to be the president at Xerox. As a matter of fact. You have to make sure you tow the line on HR-related issues in tough situations so that you are bulletproof if things get ugly. You know my military service? My father was a military man. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Yourdon: That certainly does make sense. There is such a case study. it has to be done. there is an absolute classic thing against a controller and that never goes away. including legal cases. Yourdon: Okay. You must understand that I am a military man. First. when you go out there and there’s a bunch of bad guys out there. his name was Engelman. And there have been issues. Yourdon: Aha.

I mean. I did a number of things for General Motors and then I end up in the Department of Defense. what happened was I did my bit. I said. do you look for another CIO job or do you become a consultant? You know. Xerox. I am coming to appreciate that more and more as I talk to people. Now. that leads us to the next question. or what-have-you. In other words. The vice president of IT for AT&T hired me to do a specific job. and I spent a year there. Certainly. General Motors did a similar thing.S. 18 years at Xerox. Strassmann: Okay? So there’s always a time to bail out. Yourdon: Yes. which is: it’s a tough business. it hardly ever works. then what? You know.” [joint laughter] . that’s death. And Xerox is going down the hill also. I spent a year with AT&T. but if you succeed. And sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t. but it sounds in your case that there were a couple of situations where you weren’t a consultant in the traditional definition. And I know lots of CIOs who have tried this thing and who just couldn’t engage. So.332 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Former CIO for Kraft Foods. mentoring. Strassmann: Well. Yourdon: In a sense. My biggest confrontation in the Department of Defense was with the controller of the Department of Defense because the moment I walked into the Department of Defense. Yourdon: Well. I’ve done lots of things for the Department of Defense before. professorship role. Strassmann: I have never done what’s called “spot consulting. but I’ve never done what’s called “taking consulting jobs. and you’ve gone on obviously to kind of an advisory. you say you’re still a CIO in a sense. and I stay in the Department of Defense. Dept. And this Defense Department thing just came over the transit. Actually. U. A CIO who becomes a consultant. “We cannot leave IT under the controller. the usual stuff? To become a consultant is death.” Here and there I give a speech.” I look at the things. Sometimes for no compensation. tough business. my approach is usually suitable for lots of things for lots of people. Yourdon: Right. Strassmann: Yeah. To be a CIO is a tough. and NASA what accommodations can be made. of Defense. This is a tough business. And then when you bail out. but you contracted in to spend a certain amount of time doing consulting work.

” “Who is the new administrator?” Well. Sean O’Keefe. So. So I do my Department of Defense job. .” So I go in and there is my friend. I said. and then some people say. I’m so glad you came.CIOs at Work Strassmann: I’ve done the same thing over and over again. but time runs out because of the election. Stupid thing. we were going to do it for eight years. So Clinton comes in—I will not work for Clinton or any of his appointees. the controller from the Department of Defense now becomes the administrator of NASA because NASA has deep financial problems. Would you come down and just review the situation?” So I go down to NASA. I go off and then look around. so they yanked out the financial guy and put him in charge of NASA. but it’s different. which by the way turned out to be a disaster anyway. it’s. they say. which was not the issue. “Okay. Please tell me what you have seen. “The administrator would like to see you. There’s a procedure for doing this thing. . Yourdon: Right. of course.” You know. The key levels in the government. Strassmann: You go somewhere with a card. so I arrive early in the morning. Very important thing. and then one day I get a phone call from NASA. I know that these people always work early in the morning. After lunch. “You know what? We would like you to do some teaching for us.].” They had a big SAP program. which can suck in an enormous amount of money without ever showing any results. by the way. They show up early. because the controller didn’t really control anything. Marwick. “I’m a consultant. Strassmann: Oh yeah. We have a new administrator. a billion dollars on something that could be done on a small computer. Then I have lunch. so nice to see you. the thing is yanked out and put into a separate organization. by the way. that’s terrible. The academic thing gives you a tremendous amount of freedom. It gets a very high position. You are spending money with Peat. You are wasting money. You know. and there were a number of reasons to yank it out from the controller. So I do this. So. the administrator: “Oh.” It’s the same person. 333 . people start working at 7:00 or 6:45. They show me the whole thing. “You guys are so screwed up. The controller just controlled capital budget. And then. You guys don’t know what you’re doing.” So I start liking the academic thing.” And I just dump it on him. If you come in as a distinguished professor. I don’t even want to brag about the kind of position I had. arrive early in the morning. [Mitchell & Co. we have a problem with NASA. “And [laughter] he thinks very highly of you. Yourdon: Ahh. “Umm. well.

I had a badge as the CIO of NASA! Yourdon: That’s amazing. Lawyers. sure. “Okay. If you can do it by five o’clock.S. I don’t know what I can do for you guys because you have made a commitment. we’re going to make it attractive for you.” sort of laughing. This is a smart Irish man. Strassmann. you know. U. O’Keefe turns around and says. I just finished six years in Washington. Xerox. You know what? I’m going to make a bet with you. you know. They all said they were just waiting. you come here and you straighten it out. Strassmann: And I’m stupid. you’ll never come back. they’re all lots and lots of smiling. And he says. Let me go home and think about it. who I’ve been fighting tooth and nail. The whole thing was a setup! At five o’clock. . And I just say. if you go home. you have civil servants and on and on. and if you accept.” I said. “Well. I’m going to offer you the job of CIO of NASA. of Defense.” Sean O’Keefe picks up the phone. personnel people start walking into the room. I’m going to have a badge from NASA for you by five o’clock this afternoon. you know. who is a really sharp diplomat says. “I’m going to put you on my payroll.” So after I finish this thing. and NASA Strassmann: So. I’m really stupid. He lost the battle.334 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Yourdon: [laughter] Former CIO for Kraft Foods. Strassmann: You know. because we took IT out of the controller’s department in the Department of Defense. It’s what’s called a “senior executive position. “Well. Yourdon: Right. Dept. and this is my clear adversary. You don’t want me to come to Washington. Strassmann: Now.” “Well. like. I will have to talk to my wife. The various centers are totally independent computers. I’ll take the job.” So O’Keefe. Sean O’Keefe sits there and all of his guys. you have a contract. You know. Now.” And this is like three o’clock in the afternoon. “No way. that’s a 30-billion-dollar piece of money. you are going to be spending a billion dollars on something totally useless.” I said. “Well.” Yourdon: Right.” And so I said. Yourdon: Yes. “Well. I know enough about Washington to know that that can’t be done. I don’t know what to do for you. “Look guys. guys.

Marwick & Mitchell.” I’m just giving you vignettes of what … it’s a game. Oh. And the reason is that these guys are inside the power structure. more and more companies are beginning to realize that they live or die with their information. Yourdon: And. And they have become politically acceptable. Yourdon: So never become a consultant. And there are several assignments that can be leveraged. oh yeah. knows a great deal of how the place operates because all the other guys are functional. I know John Reed. I say. that John Reed became the CEO of Citibank and he came out of its IT department. the nervous system … this guy. Strassmann: Yes. who talks to who. understanding the infrastructure and the way the blood vessels function. quite a few.3 or Deloitte.CIOs at Work Strassmann: So then I’m stuck for a year. but look for interesting assignments. there are many. and they create alliances and they are acceptable. . I don’t know if he had been CIO. 335 3 Peat Marwick International merged with Klynveld Main Goerdeler to become KPMG in 1987. And so the CIO who is doing the right political moves and is doing the right homework. you bore down and you see who connects. Yourdon: Have you seen CIOs trying to move up to the next level. Yourdon: Is it a game you would recommend to other successful CIOs when they feel that they’ve reached the end of their journey? Strassmann: Of course. I’m going to give you a year. I think. They are marketing or they are lawyers or somebody else. Sean. Strassmann: Look for assignments that you can leverage. And never work for Peat. obviously. Absolutely. after three or four years. he was. They burn you up. “Okay. They also know a great deal about the company. John Reed came to see me. Yourdon: Are there many success stories? Strassmann: Oh yes. Strassmann: Oh yeah. particularly if you do it the right way—namely. [to] CEOs? Strassmann: Oh yes. Yourdon: It was probably 20 years ago. because as a CIO you really learn the company.

and NASA Yourdon: He came out of the Sloan School. after a year.” He’s not the wrong guy. Dept. the guy sits down. and pick very few. you always need a rabbi. The answer is. you don’t fight battles. as you know. Strassmann: So.S. no. Yourdon: There are probably an equal number of situations where the CIO feels just completely burned out because he’s been fighting all those battles and maybe wasn’t prepared for. There are lots of reasons. usually? Strassmann: Oh. They haven’t cleaned up the power structure. This is the two-year CIO. You know. The people who are hiring the CIO don’t know what they want the guy to do. Well. of Defense. gets an office. And you always pick the battles that you know you cannot lose. and then he has to decide what to do. for a long time. he doesn’t know who’s his rabbi. Strassmann: Oh yeah. the top executives look and say. Strassmann: Because if you lose. Xerox. okay. Yourdon: Oh. you always pick your battles. So they come in. U. I was just saying that he was the only example that I remember off-hand of somebody rising up through IT. The guys who picked him were the wrong guys because they’ve . So they hire somebody with a totally mistaken idea of what this guy’s supposed to do. Yourdon: Ahh. the life expectancy of a CIO has been about two years or even a little bit less. Strassmann: Oh. He’s a living dead guy. Strassmann: Oh yes. John Reed hired me. Yourdon: Yes. okay. we really didn’t make the right choice. “Well. from the outside. He does not know what his budget is. yeah. Yourdon: Aha. no. Yourdon: Now is that because they’ve lost battles? Strassmann: No.336 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Former CIO for Kraft Foods. There are probably lots more. The worst thing is for a CIO to lose a battle and stay around. And then he has to scramble for everything. He’s the wrong guy. you have to leave. yes. Strassmann: There are others. there are others. okay. but let me tell you basically what the flaw is. Yourdon: From the outside.

you know. Strassmann: You see. There are some exceptions. where do CIOs come from? They’re not born into that role. The Department of Defense and NASA. So maybe they’re at the sub-CIO level and there’s more of this rising up through the ranks. Yourdon: Okay. And then you hire the right person for that role. there’s a variation on that that I have now begun to see. Citibank is one of many large companies that has multiple CIOs. It does happen. Strassmann: Always. . there are lots of CIOs around. it’s very hard to generalize. that’s … Yourdon: That’s a lot longer than average. and Xerox. one of the things that your book can do is to bring into a CFO/CEO position a thinking of what it takes to make a CIO a success. You know. But if not. On the average. 337 . depending on how you count it. it turns out that he’s not the CIO. the CIO cannot be a success unless somebody wants him to be a success. . as opposed to being chosen and brought in from the outside? Strassmann: Very rarely. I mean. Strassmann: But they were exceptional. I have been trying to contact one particular CIO. Yourdon: And especially with the big multinational companies these days. there are such cases. Well. Five. I’ve been with General Foods. He’s one of ten. and some of them worked their way up from shift supervisor to CIO. Strassmann: Yeah. So I had 5 jobs in 60 years. and interesting that you should mention Citibank.CIOs at Work never done the work. They’ve never done . Maybe you jump from position X in one company to CIO in another company? Is that the more common way of doing things? Strassmann: You know. Okay? So I’ve been in this business since. Yourdon: Wow. I’ve jumped. Yourdon: But that requires a fairly clear understanding of what the role needs to be and what that role needs to be. Kraft. I had people working for me at Xerox because I had a real mean training school in the data center. I’ve been in this business for 60 years. so they have to make a jump. Yourdon: Actually. the question becomes. Yourdon: Do you see many situations where the CIO rises up through the ranks.

You know. were there business mentors or role models that kind of gave you a sense of how to behave or. by the way.” I read that part of your book. Guess why I’m teaching a course on cyber-operations? Yourdon: So you can learn about it. are these jobs additive? Or just musical chairs? One advice I would like to give to everybody. I arrived on a Monday. it always has to be done with recognition of people. what was important versus not important? Strassmann: I would say one of the great experiences was when I arrived at Xerox.” And it is that humility. Yourdon: Do you think that kind of behavior has largely disappeared in American business today? Strassmann: Oh. Strassmann: Yes. I violated that maybe once or twice. I usually write papers because there’s something I don’t know about. of Defense. . Strassmann: I am learning this stuff! I’ve spent the last two and a half months learning this stuff. very important: When you are a CIO. “just call me Joe. U. American business. But that’s not the way to operate. . is extremely confrontational now. Xerox. so far as I know. Strassmann: You never let go of the craft. . .338 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Former CIO for Kraft Foods. Yourdon: [laughter] Strassmann: The professor learns much more than the student. you must understand there’s a fundamental craft that you have to nurture. retaliated against certain individuals. Yourdon: Aha. and I’m really sorry about it—when I sort of acted harshly. Yourdon: Now. there is a certain sense of decency and ethics which is very important.S. but it has been always decent. See. you are also a programmer. You never let go of it . and NASA Strassmann: The question is. and at 10:30 a gray-haired gentleman walked into my room and says. “I’m Joe Wilson [the CEO of Xerox]. I’ve published now 300 papers. so the craft . it always has to be ethical. Too confrontational. as you undoubtedly know. . Now. And the best way to learn something is write a paper about it.” Yourdon: “Just call me Joe. The only person who ever learns anything is the professor. You cannot let go of that. So. reported to work at 8:30. it’s power struggles. once you got into the business world. Dept.

I find a larger collection of gentlemen of substance in the military than in corporate America. Yourdon: Well. it was a sick. were very nice. One of the other things. Yourdon: Interesting. because the technology was good. but let me tell you something. sick situation. I mean. it’s not just in the business world. . very nice people. My years with Kraft. parents first and foremost. Yourdon: Hmm. Citicorp was just infested with that. hard-drinking. Strassmann: Oh. the people who end up doing the computer stuff . We went around. by the way. Although I think that people will often see a lot of bad examples in the business world. Particularly in the Navy. You’re right. that is often true in the Silicon Valley kind of IT world is companies being run by very young and often somewhat inexperienced and somewhat immature people. but also your entire upbringing and schools and so on. Yourdon: Really? 339 . They were all milkmen starting local routes. Hard-working. of course. but don’t some of them come from a more traditional. And we came back with a remark that the issue was not technology. Strassmann: Well. These were hard-working people. I mean. . you know. some of them may have come into it right from university. you learn your behavior from your parents. It seems like a lot of backstabbing and confrontational behavior. you know. that’s got to be a culture shock. ’96. by being part of an organization where they could watch others. but it was pleasant.CIOs at Work Yourdon: And certainly the kind of behavior you read about and hear about in Silicon Valley is kind of. who may not have learned proper behavior. Yourdon: How long ago was this? Strassmann: [1995]. It wasn’t much money. West Point kind of culture? Strassmann: Yeah. How is it by contrast in the military? I mean. the epitome of the IT world. don’t wait for corporations to straighten out your behavior. John Reed hired three outsiders to come in and have a look at his place. If you were brought up in a certain way and suddenly find yourself in a backstabbing culture. of course. interesting. interesting. visited lots of Citi locations. It was very genteel. but it was the confrontation and the continual conflict which was tearing the place apart. Strassmann: Yeah. my friend.

But I have not spent time on that. U. . the more I’m concerned not about the development. I really have not spent time on that.340 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Former CIO for Kraft Foods. These are all gentlemen. Strassmann: By the way. But have you seen any advantages or disadvantages of agile systems development from a management perspective? Strassmann: [laughter] Let me say that the word “agile”—lots of things get peddled under that thing. but they are gentlemen. they are obsolete. what kind of metadata to put into place? Yourdon: Okay. It’s not just a technical way of developing systems. you know. Yourdon: True. I mean. how are the relationships set today? Who’s really deciding what kind of databases. One of the popular IT things these days is the agile development approach. Yourdon: One last technical question and then I will leave you alone. Oh. every one of them. my grandson got a congressional nomination for Annapolis. they may be backwards. These guys will never make a promotion. particularly in the last 20 years. Strassmann: You can do lots of agile development extremely inefficiently if the thing is not put together with any kind of a sense. and they are paying for him. Yourdon: Congratulations! Strassmann: But they decided he’s a geek and he would only make ship captain. Xerox. because you‘ve got to go through lots of steps before you get up to admiral.S. yes. okay. Yourdon: [laughter] That’s a nice metaphor. of Defense. I’m more concerned about the things which are not being done to make it even possible for people to do development. Okay. Strassmann: I think that’s great. which seems to also have some impact on project management. Yourdon: Now does this start at Annapolis and carry them all the way through? Strassmann: They don’t even get into Annapolis. the rough kind of in-your-face approach is very much scoffed at. They may have different opinions. the design. and NASA Strassmann: Oh. Strassmann: The more I look at things. Dept. Yourdon: Unless they have that foundation. so they sent him to Carnegie-Mellon. but the architecture. Lots of little ants are moving all kinds of twigs all over the place.

but. the interoperability. Yourdon: Okay. a cloud service which provides an infrastructure. Has this code been agilely developed for a one-year lifetime and then be junked and thrown away? Yourdon: Some things are. It doesn’t matter. just throw it away. That’s all it was worth. metadata. Strassmann: And the difference between what gets thrown away and what doesn’t get thrown away: Has it been embedded into a framework? See. the code itself— particularly if I have an infrastructure in place—infrastructure is a service. I’m very much concerned about data. you and I are old enough to know that some things we thought would be thrown away in a year have lived 25 or 30 years. for instance. The problem if you go with an application that will build an entire stack. That’s not the way to do things. so that’s the big surprise. Strassmann: And have these people really answered the question of how well this particular application gets the data securely? Now. You just don’t touch it. It’s a button. do you feel we shouldn’t be using the popular forms of agile at all? Strassmann: Oh. Strassmann: I don’t mind if you throw away the top 5 percent every time you want. I don’t care. or you go in with a big project that’ll take a year and it will cost $10 to $50 million. Strassmann: You don’t want to do agile on the infrastructure. Yourdon: Okay. I don’t have to do. And the stack is data. but the twigs will get blown away in a windstorm. I mean. So it’s one thing to move twigs around. the coding infrastructure. And decide on what layer you’re going to put it in. as you said earlier. in other words. of course. Strassmann: See. you can use agile. 341 . Ninety-nine cents. what will be the life of the code and how maintainable the code will be. You don’t want to do agile on data. If the front end you throw away every three months.CIOs at Work Yourdon: Well. The infrastructure. communication infrastructure. connectivity. you’re looking at things. there’s layers in a stack. Yourdon: So for things of that sort. the protocol. Yourdon: Right. one of the most important issues is. in terms of a 40-year or 50-year lifecycle. Strassmann: The problem is to stack.

And then because of latency. well. .S. as you know. of Defense. Interesting. you may decide to put the data center capability. which I very much appreciate your taking the time to talk to me about. you have a totally different environment set up for control of data. U.” to get you down to milliseconds. in the infrastructure you may have things starting on the Internet. Well. and NASA Strassmann: In fact. . Former CIO for Kraft Foods. without the upper layer or lower layer being affected. . Strassmann: You should be able to slide out of the stack the infrastructure. Okay. That’s where the costs come in. Yourdon: Right. I think I have covered just about all of the questions I had on my list.342 Chapter 16 | Paul Strassmann: Yourdon: Okay. Yourdon: Right. And infrastructure in particular. as was the case 20 years ago when my friends and I were introducing the structured methodologies. that’s. You know. Xerox. an area where there are huge battles being fought today. slide it on a different . what’s called “on the edge. Dept.

261. 320 AMR Corp. 206 cognitive time. 47 Bedrock foundation. 296. 200 Community and Economic Development. 203 Boucher. 121. 171. 117. 87 Arizona Public Service (APS) Company. 35 Genius Bar. 84 American Marketing Society. 191. 314. 319 America COMPETES Act. 191 banking industry. 194 consumer market. 135 Art of Computer Programming. 116. 215 adaptability. 96. 249 B Ballmer. 211. 199 business intelligence. 206 Coker. 242.. 205 cognitive surplus. 113 American Production Inventory Control Society. 184. 192 Air Force brat. 231 Bell Labs. 47. 2 Atlanta-based Southern Company. Becky. 191 AT&T. 304 American Airlines. 204 cloud computing. 223 Arizona State University. Steve.. 317 Blalock. 217. 249 Bell Atlantic Mobile. 182. 191. 196 brainstorm.I Index A AdKnowledge. 249 BlackBerry. 227 ARPANET. 72 American Defense Department. 211 Ames. Dave. 47 Baylor-Grapevine Board of Trustees. 39 Bank of Boston. 101. 191. Marie. 192 Atlanta-based Southern Company. 8 Archipelago Holdings Inc. 60. 202 . 43 Annapolis. 295 Computer. 246. Inc. 19. 87 Agile development methodology. 2. 97. 47 Android. 202 24/7 business. 62 Amazon. 340 Apple. 66. 196 communication and education.

227 benchmarking company. 201 sense of integrity. 192 virtualization. 213 just say yes program. 218 home computing. 201 Egypt revolution. 211 Intel machines. 216 chief innovation officer. Ken. 207 teamwork survey. 219 Honeywell. 212 Peopleware. 219 cognitive surplus. 224 North American universities. 213 national alerts. marketing. 219 HR generalists. 203 Ward. 220 PDP minicomputers. 217 John Deere. 222 distributed computing. 203 Bohlen. 214 gizmo/whiz-bang show. 207. 217 cloud computing. 197 flexible and adaptable. 206 finance backgrounds/marketing. 229 Citrix. 198 farming technology. 209 data analytics. 217 APS. 204 distribution organization. 216 GoodLink. 198. 211 Apple. 220 MBA program. Eileen. 203 mobility and business analytics. 205 Moore’s Law. 201 technology lab. 207 mobile devices. 217 energy industry. 228 paradigm shifts. 193 global society. 200. 211 American Production Inventory Control Society.344 Index Blalock. 201. 207 Internet. 196 intelligence and redundancy. 218. 211 Linux. Becky (continued) cybersecurity. 211. 220 DECnet. 205 VRU. 215 information technology department. 191 Georgia Power Management Council. 207 marketing and customer service. 202 undergraduate degree. 196 wire business. 202 reinforcement. Alan. 223 ASU. 193. 205 mainframe system. 205 new generation digital natives. 206 Information Age. 198. 212 Department of Defense. 209 Franklin. 206 Google. 217 hard-line manufacturing. 198 Olympic sponsor. 196 infrastructure. 195 Industrial Age. 198 incredible technology. 206 leapfrog innovations. 199 innovation and creativity. 205 disaster recovery. 218. 204. 226 . 206 InformationWeek’s. 192 microfiche. 219 home entertainment. 199 superficial fashion. 200 MBA. 223 Lean Six Sigma improvement process. 202 intellectual property. 201 world-class customer service. 200 Southern Company. 194. 214 mentors. finance. 193 Georgia Power. 193 out pushing technology. 209 distributed generation. 207 microwave tower.

212 Chrome. 218. 35 Computerworld magazine. 113 Columbia University. 218 Rhode Island. 262. 313 D Dallas Children’s Medical Center Development Board. 48 DARPA. 213 San Diego Fire Department. 221 R&D companies. 332 . 337 Citicorp. 226 Twitter. 211 Storefront engineering. 213 Web 2. 196 Consumer-oriented technology. 224 security/privacy issues.Index prefigurative culture. 175 Citibank. 87 Corvus disk drive. 239. Jerry. 313 Cloud technology. 2 Bristol-Myers Squibb. 191 Customer-relationship management (CRM). 240. 113 DeMarco. 222. 225 Stead. 1 Community and Economic Development. 222 Botnets. 22 Content management system. 36 Customer Advisory Boards of Oracle. 253 BT Innovate & Design (BTI&D). 81 DECnet. 173 345 C Career writing technology. 329. 227 BT Global Services. 241 Brown. 220 Y2K. 130 Citrix. 212 Dell Platinum Council. 214 Stevie Award. 217 skip levels. 56 Cutter Business Technology Council. 67 CASE tools. 219. 227 Web infrastructure. 217 social media. 16. 50 Christensen. 310. 250 Cognitive surplus. 18 Chrysler Corporation. 311. University of Miami. 194 Computer Sciences Corporation. 219. 212 traditional management. 23 Brian’s and Rob Pike’s. 20. 291 College of Engineering. 79. Jim. 217 Client-server-type applications. 261. 309 Corporate Management Information Systems. 133 Corporate information management (CIM) program. 219 smartphone. 224 vocabulary. 221 Waterloo operations. Tom. 232 Cash. 14. 62 CNN. 223 smart home concepts. 19 DDoS attacks and security. 215 wikipedia. 253 Bumblebee tuna. 206. Clyde. 226 Department of Defense. 227 Bryant. 54 COBOL. 59 Cloud computing. 33 Broadband networks.0 companies. 226 role models.


Detroit Energy, 252 Digital books, 30 Digital Equipment, 48 Distributed computing, 217 Dodge, 189 Dogfooding, 11, 37, 38, 236 DTE Energy, 173 DuPont Dow Elastomers, 151 executive MBA program, 176 Facebook, 185 fresh-out-of-the-university, 187 General Electric, 174 Google, 184 Grace Hopper, 174 grid re-automation, 182 Henry Ford Hospital, 174 internal social media, 185 International Coaching Federation, 178 iPads, 184 IP electrical grids, 182 iPod applications, 182 IT budgets, 186 IT responsibilities, 176 Java, 186 level of sophistication, 179 lobbying efforts, 181 medical computing, 175 Miller, Joan, 174 Mulcahey, Anne, 175 Netscape, 175 neuroscience leadership, 189 object-oriented programming, 186 Oracle, 186 peer-level people, 179 people system, 177 policies and strategies, 180 Radio Shack, 180 remote access capacity, 189 security tool and patch, 183 sense of community, 180 Shipley, Jim, 174 smart grid, 177, 182 smart meters, 182 smart phone applications, 183 swarming, 179 technical competence, 178, 179 Thomas, Marlo, 174 Twitter, 185 UNITE, 181 vendor community, 186 virtualization, 183, 184 Xerox, 175

Educational Testing Service (ETS), 151 E-government, 282, 285 Electrical distribution grid, 182 Elementary and Secondary Education Strategic Business Unit, 151 Elements of Programming Style, 2 Ellyn, Lynne, 173 advanced technology software planning, 175 Amazon, 184 artificial intelligence group, 175 Association for Women in Computing, 173 benchmark, 180, 181 BlackBerries, 184 Burns, Ursula, 175 Chrysler, 176 Cisco, 186 cloud computing, 183, 184 component-based architecture, 186 corporate communications customer service, 185 Crain’s Detroit Business, 173 cyber security threats, 177 degree of competence, 187 diversity and sophistication, 182 DTE Energy, 173 energy trading, 176 engineering and science programs, 188 enterprise business systems policy, 186

E-mail, 9 Employee-relationship management (ERM), 56 Encyclopedia, 115 Encyclopedia Britannica, 292 ERP, 123 financial expert, 69 frequent-flier program, 57 frontal lobotomy, 57 Harvard Business Review, 50 HR policies, 65 IBM, 48 information technology, 47, 52 Internet, 54 Internet-based protocol, 59 iPhone, 52 IT stuff, 58 Knight Ridder, 51 legacy apps, 59 mainframe-like applications, 59 management training program, 64 marketing and technical jobs, 48 Maynard, Massachusetts mill, 48 MBA program, 50 mentors, 49 Microsoft, 50 mobile computing, 62 New York Times, 53 operations center, 54 PDP-5, 49 PDP-6, 49 Radio Shack, 51 revenue management, 57 role models, 49 security paradigms, 62 self-service machine, 57 Silicon Valley companies, 68 smartphones, 54 social networking, 51, 53, 56, 58 stateful applications, 59 techie department, 48 The Associates First Capital Corporation, 47 transmission and distribution companies, 47 wireless network, 59 YouTube, 65 Fort Worth, 226 Free software foundation, 19


Facebook, 244 Ellyn, Lynne, 185 Sridhara, Mittu, 73, 84 Temares, Lewis, 116, 121, 131 Wakeman, Dan, 169 Federal information technology investments, 299 Flex, 236 Ford, 102 Ford, Monte, 47 agile computing, 59 agile development, 62, 66 airplanes, 51 American Airlines, 47 Arizona Public Services, 66 Bank of Boston, 47 Baylor-Grapevine Board of Trustees, 47 BlackBerry, 60 board of Chubb, 51 board of Tandy, 51 business organizations, 63 business school, dean, 50 career writing technology, 67 client-server-type applications, 59 cloud technology, 62 CNN, 54 common-sense functionality, 49 consumer-based technology, 60 CRM, 56 Dallas Children’s Medical Center Development Board, 48 Digital Equipment, 48 ERM, 56


Fried, Benjamin, 1, 241 agile development, 25 agile methodologies, 26 Apple Genius Bar, 8 ARPANET, 19 Art of Computer Programming, 2 Bell Labs, 2 books and records, accuracy, 25 botnets, 23 Brian’s and Rob Pike’s, 2 cash-like principles, 29 CFO, 4 check writers, 18 chrome, 14, 18 classic computer science text, 1 cognitive surplus, 20 Columbia University, 1 compensation management, 7 competitive advantage, 9, 18 computer science degree, 1 computer scientists, 6 consumer-driven computing, 12 consumer-driven software-as-aservice offerings, 12 consumer-driven technology, 12 consumer-oriented technology, 14, 22 corporate leadership, 25 cost centers, 4 DARPA, 19 decision makers, 17 decision making, 13 360-degree performance management, 7 detroit energy, 30 digital books, 30 document workbench, 2 dogfooding, 11 e-books, 29 Elements of Programming Style, 2 e-mail, 9 end-user support, 7 engineering executive group, 4 European vendors, 6 file servers and print servers, 17 Folger Library editions, 30 free software foundation, 19 German company, 13 German engineering, 13 Gmail, 15 Godot, 26 Google, 1 books, 29 products, 5, 10 software engineers, 6 hiring managers, 6 HR processes and technologies, 6 IBM model, 13 instant messaging, 9 Internet age, 6 interviewers, training, 6 iPad, 29 iPhone, 29 IPO, 3 IT, engineering and computer science parts, 4 Knuth’s books, 2 Linux machine, 8 Linux software, 19 machine running Windows, 8 Macintosh, 8 Mac OS, 9 macro factors, 11 Managing Director, 1 mentors, 1 microcomputers, 18 Microsoft, 5 Minds for Sale, 20 Morgan Stanley, 1–3, 5, 16 nonacademic UNIX license, 2 nontechnical skills, 5 oil exploration office, 17 open-source phone operating system, 20 outlook, 15 PARC, 19 performance review cycles, 7 personal computer equipment, 15 post-Sarbanes-Oxley world, 25 project manager, 13

quants, 24 rapid-release cycle, 26 R&D cycle, 24 regression testing, 27 role models, 1 shrink-wrapped software, 14 signature-based anti-virus, 22 smartphone, 20, 27 social contract, 8 society trails technology, 21 software engineering tool, 13 software installation, 14 supply chain and inventory and asset management, 10 SVP, 4 telephony, 17 ten things, 13 TMRC, 19 TROFF, 2 typesetter workbench, 2 UI designer, 14 university computing center, 28 videoconferencing, 12 Visicalc, 24 Wall Street, 23 Walmart, 6 waterfall approach, 25 XYZ widget company, 5 YouTube video, 20 German manufacturing company, 232 Gizmo/whiz-bang show, 216 Gmail, 15 GoodLink, 217 Google, 1, 84, 85, 117, 217, 219, 220, 222, 235, 241, 263, 302, 319 apps, 314 books, 29 commercial products, 10 model, 293 Government Accountability Office (GAO), 305 4G program, 250 4G smartphone, 235 GTE, 231 Gupta, Ashish aspiration, organization, 256 bandwidth and network infrastructure, 267 BlackBerry, 261 business and customer outcomes, 274 capital investment forums, 269 career progression, 255 cloud-based shared infrastructure model, 263 cloud computing, 261, 262 collaboration, 272 communications infrastructure, 258 compute-utility-based model, 262 control and integrity, 268 core competency, 255 core network infrastructure, 267 core strengths, 256 cost per unit of bandwidth, 267 customer demands, 268 data protection, 261, 262 decision-making bodies, 269 demographics, 272, 273 device convergence, 263 dogfooding, 259 employee flexibility, 260, 264


Gates, Bill, 39, 50 General Electric, 134 General Foods, 309, 326–328 General Motors, 33, 321, 329, 332 George Mason School of Information Technology, 309 Georgia Power Company, 191–193, 196 Georgia Power Management Council, 193 German company, 13 German engineering, 13


Gupta, Ashish (continued) engagement and governance, 269 enterprise market segment, 261 equipment management, 260 executive MBA, 256 fourth-generation LTE networks, 267 functional service departments, 270 Global Services, distributed organization, 257 Google, 263, 275 Google Apps, 266 handheld devices, 265 hastily formed networks, 258 IMF, 266 innovation and application development, 265 iPad, 257, 260, 261, 266,267 iPhone, 266 Japan, 257, 258 London Business School, 253 management functions, 257 management sales functions, 257 market segments, 259 MBA, General Management, 253 measurements, 271 messaging with voice capability, 264 mini-microcomputer model, 261 mobile communications network, 258 mobile-enabling voice, 259 mobile phone network, 260 mobile traffic explosion, 265 network infrastructures, 265 network IT services, 254 network quality, 257 new generation digital natives, 271 disadvantages, 273 Google, 273 opportunities, 273 Olympics, 263 opportunities, 275 organizational construct, 272 outsourced network IT services, 259 outsourcing, 271 per-use-based model, 262 portfolio and business alignment, 274 Portfolio & Service Design (P&SD), 253 primary marketing thrust, 264 product development thrust, 264 product management team, 259 project and program management, 255 resource balance, 270 scalability, 262 security, 262 Selley, Clive, 254, 255 service delivery organization, 254 single-device model, 264 smart devices, 267 smart phones, 266 telecommunications capability, 259 upward-based apps, 264 virtualization, 261 voice-over-IP connections, 258 Windows platform, 261 Gurnani, Roger, 231 accounting/finance department, 233 analog cellular networks, 250 AT&T, 249 bedrock foundation, 249 Bell Atlantic Mobile, 231 Bell Labs, 249 blogs, 244 broadband networks, 241 business benefits, 237 business device, 240 business executives, 238 business leaders, 248, 249 business relationship management, 248 buzzword, 239 CASE tools, 232 cloud computing, 239, 240 COBOL, 250 consumer and business products, 231

consumer electronics devices, 241 consumer telecom business, 233 customer-engagement channel, 244 customer forums, 244 customer support operations, 251 customer-touching channels, 236 degree of control, 246 distribution channel, 250 dogfooding, 236 ecosystem, 243, 249 enterprise business, 233 ERP systems, 236 face-to-face communications, 244 FiOS product, 235 flex, 236 "follow the sun" model, 239 German manufacturing company, 232 4G program, 250 4G smartphone, 235 hardware/software vendors, 247 information assets, 245 information technology strategy, 231 intellectual property rights, 244 Internet, 235, 239 iPhone, 243 Ivan, 232 Lowell, 232 LTE technology-based smartphone, 235 marketing, 251 MIT, 246 mobile technology, 234 Moore’s law, 242 MP3 file, 235 network-based services, 240 Nynex Mobile, 233 P&L responsibility, 251 PDA, 238 personal computing, 235 product development, 234, 251 role models, 232 sales channels, 251 smartphones, 238 state-level regulatory issues, 251 state-of-the-art networks, 243 telecom career, 232 telephone company, Phoenix, 234 Verizon Communication, 231, 232 virtual corporations, 241 Web 2.0, 244 Williams Companies, 232, 233 WillTell, 233 wireless business, 233


Hackers, 19 Harmon, Jay, 213 Harvard Business Review, 50 Harvard Business School, 331 Heller, Martha, 171 Henry Ford Hospital, 174 Hewlett-Packard piece, 129 Home computing, 219 Honda, 102 Honeywell, 219 Houghton Mifflin, 134, 136

IBM, 48, 250 manpower, 311 model, 13 Indian IT outsourcing company, 255 Information technology, 52 Intel machines, 217 International Coaching Federation, 178 Internet, 9, 44, 54, 117, 235, 239, 316, 322 Internet-based protocol, 59 Interoperability, 341 iPads, 2, 94, 97, 184, 257, 260, 264, 267, 288, 289, 295, 296


IP electrical grids, 182 iPhones, 43, 52, 96, 101, 170, 181, 260, 264,296 iPod, 101 IT lifecycle management process, 37 Ivan, 232 Patent Office, 305 pharmaceutical industry, 304 phishing attacks, 301 policy and strategic planning, 299 security and privacy, 301 server utilization, 300 social media and technology, 300, 306 storage utilization, 300 Trademark Office, 305 Wikipedia, 303

John Deere, 213

Kansas, 226 Kernigan, Brian, 2 Knight Ridder, 51 Knuth, Donald, 2, 29 Kraft Foods Inc, 309 Krist, Nicholas, 28 Kundra, Vivek Clever Commute, 305 cognitive surplus, 303 command and control systems, 301 consumerization, 302 consumption-based model, 300 cyber-warfare, 301 Darwinian pressure, 302 desktop core configuration, 306 digital-borne content, 301 digital oil, 300, 307 digital public square, 304 enterprise software, 303 entrepreneurial startup model, 306 frugal engineering, 306 Google, 302 government business, 302 innovator’s dilemma, 307 iPad, 302 IT dashboard, 302 leapfrog technology, 306 massive consumerization, 301 megatrends, 301 parameter security, 302

LAN, 259 Lean Six Sigma improvement process, 211 Levy, Steven (Hackers), 19 Linux, 220 machine, 8 open-source software, 19 Lister, Tim, 226 London Business School, 73, 253, 256 Long-term evolution (LTE), 235 Lowell, 232

MacArthur’s intelligence officer, 327 Macintosh, 8 Mainframe computers, 118 Mainframe-like applications, 59 Marriott’s Great America, 35 McDade, 327 McGraw-Hill Education, 133, 147, 150 Mead, Margaret, 221 Mendel, 311 Microcomputers, 18 Microsoft Corporation, 5, 11, 33, 36, 38, 41, 44, 46, 50, 156, 217, 223, 236, 250, 293

285 iPad. 285 Wikipedia. 292 Google’s cloud service. 279 social care services. 284 electronic services. 285 quango-type organizations. 290 mobile electronic information. 277 project management. 149 Mobile computing. 289. 284 House business. 278 Parliamentary ICT. 288 electronic media. 290. 189 Miller. 280 local government. 290. 278 Internet information. 294 big-time computing. 288 economics degree. 20 Mitchell & Co. 296 business management training. 293 Microsoft’s cloud service. 287 messages. 280. 33 Middlesex University. 333 MIT Media Labs. 282. 294 e-mail. 282 public transportation. 291 sustainability and growth. 292 X-factor. 296 IT data management. 290 official government information. 286 electronic information. 278 computers. 289. 286 Minds for Sale. 281 decision making. 277 back locked-down information. 293 technical language. 290 information management. 285 on-the-job training. 283 Google. 287 Health and Social Care. 279 BlackBerry. 291. 295 forgiving technology. 291 Web-based services. 294 confidential information. 277. 289 national organization. 288. Joan Apple products. 282. 294 House of Lords. 283 cognitive surplus. 278 insurance company. 278 community development programs. 292 award-winning ICT programs and services. 285 electronic communication. 278 social care systems. 291 social care organization. 279 management principle. 113 Microsoft's operational enterprise risk management. 281 organizational planning. 283 representational democracy. 283 mainframe environment. 279 public sector. 289 member-led activity. Essex.Index Microsoft Higher Education Advisory Group. 286 security. 281 business skills. 284 network perimeters. 285 transferability. constituency office. 286 electronic records. 294 technology skills. 289. 291 community care project. 289 big-scale text issues. 285 sovereignty. 288 ICT strategy. 281 central government. 284 social networking. 284 mobile technology. 286 democratic process. 290 Government 2. 278 e-government. 295 authority and accuracy. 62 353 . 284 data management. 281 transactional services. 289 electronic-enabled public voice. 289 Microsoft. 296 front-office service.

149 scalability testing. 173 Naval Postgraduate School. 138 Klein. 133 artificial intelligence. 147 media development. 134 back-office legacy. 148 competitive intelligence and knowledge. 142 trust and integrity. 134 Netscape. 144 cloud computing. 3. 144 media space. 148 Internet. 136 Salesforce. 282 News Corp. 148 soft discipline guidelines. 278 . 145 The Shallows. 309. 145 TTS. 136 business model. 143 Connect.354 Index Mobile technology. 334 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 144 digital space and product. 140 Bermuda Triangle. 142 publishing systems. 137 Phoenix. 139 Moore’s law. 139. 139 MOUSE. 141 Marine Corps. Joel. 138. 143 people’s roles and responsibilities. 134 War and Peace today. 139 transactional systems. 136 HTML. 140 handheld devices. 136 digital products development. 147 New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). 133. 147 learning management systems. 150 General Electric. 149 publishing companies. 134 GradeGuru. 143 iTunes. 141 intellectual content. 116. QuickPro. 146 educational and reference content.. 140 career spectrum. 141 entrepreneur. 144 Vivendi Universal. 137 customer space and product development. Mark. 138 open-source capabilities. and ACL. 143. 134 McGraw-Hill Education. 223. 133. 333. 142 Bureau of National Standards. 134. 141 customer-facing and product development. 138 industrial-strength product. 144. 142 Houghton Mifflin. 242 Morgan Stanley. 137 Reed Elsevier. 138. 139 educational products. 146 social network. 142 hard-core technical standpoint. 135 customer-facing product space. 175 New Brunswick model. 2. 135 BlackBerry shop. 87. 150 online technology. 146 hardware servers. 16 N NASA. 144 testing systems integration. 141 solar energy. 145 BBC. 135 technical skill set. 234 Mooney. 142. 145 senior business leaders. 148 iPad. 142 Oracle quota-management system. 142 mobile computing. 149 product development. 149 Strassmann. 142 iPhone. 136 balancing standpoint. 137 long-term production system.

88 channel marketing departments. 110 Agile Manifesto. 88 parallel programming models. 100 Fidelity Investments. 104. 105 market data system. 95 communication skills. 106 logical progression. 89 micro-second response time. 211 Plauger.. 91 labor laws. 95 collective intelligence. 87 attributes. Bill. 88 regulatory and security standpoint. 89 mobile applications. 106 proclaimed workaholic. 110 listening skills. 220 Parks and Recreation Department. 235 Personal digital assistant (PDA). 105 financial services. 104 Mac. 44 Phoenix. 2 Q Quants. 133. John. 108 capital market community. 102. 94 Internet. 96 mainframe. 17 Open-source phone operating system. 87 agile development. 97 iPod device.. 108 economy standpoint. 218. 89 collaborative technology. 103 NYSE Euronext. 101 innovative impression. 109 real estate business. 233 cash/actual trading business. 226 Personal computing. 103 multimedia. 99 consumer marketplace. 98 iPad. 94 multidisciplinary approach. 94 355 O Oil exploration office. 212 Peopleware. 126 PDP minicomputers. 90 decision making. 91 . 99 personal satisfaction. 335 Rubinow. Inc. 20 Outlook. 94 data center. 238 Petri dish. 109 PR function. 99 network operating system. 97 CNBC. Steve. 106 conference organizations. 24 R Radio Shack. 105. 87 open outside system. 53 North American universities. 87 AdKnowledge. 136 Reed. 51 Reed Elsevier. 15 P Pacer Software. 228 NSA/CIA software. 92 IEEE. 110 multiprocessing options. 104 management and leadership. 135 Paradigm shifts.Index New York Times. 92 cloud computing. 97 multi-national projects. 110 Archipelago Holdings Inc. 134 Nynex Mobile. 96 Rolodex. 100 e-mail.

97 software development. Steve (continued) Rubin. 33 Corvus disk drive. 42 product groups. 45 dogfooding. 27. 36 SAS programs. Tony. 98 Windows 7. 33 smartphone. 38. 323 Skype. 34 business groups. 90 typewriter ribbon. 40 leisure studies. 91 trading engines. 99 server department. 38. 20. 89 sophisticated technology. 68 Silicon Valley software factories. 93 Rumsfeld. 37 . 101 technology business. 36 theme park industry. 33 Walt Disney Company. 43 Apple Computer. 40 Internet. 118 Smart Grid Advisory Committee. 320 Social networking. Donald. 279 Social computing. 93 visual interfaces. 39 Corporate Vice President. 34 University of San Francisco. 96 younger generation video games. 35 math models. 35 Defense department. 30 Shirky. 35 architectural flaw. 35 General Motors. 10. 33 Senior Leadership Technology and Product Marketing. 33. 41. 51. 33 Bunch. 88 technology integration. 36. 36 Microsoft Corporation. 56. 191 Silicon Valley companies. 222 leadership capability. 217. 71 Shakespeare. 44. 35 University of Illinois. 53. 34 macro-architectural threats. 33 Santa Clara University. 177 Smartphones. 131 Scott. 44 BASIC and Pascal. 38 Sun Microsystems. 36 CSC. 44 Marriott’s Great America. 36 integrity factor. Rick (role model). 43 social computing. 21 SPSS programs. Clay. 36 value-added business. 34 Petri dish. 44 iPhone. 54. 37. 43. 42 quality and business excellence team. 33 IBM’s role. 94 virtualization. 236 Android. Howard. 43 IT lifecycle management process. 131 S San Diego Fire Department. 38 games and arcades. 220 Sierra Ventures. 58 Society trails technology. 33 parks and recreation. 46 Microsoft's operational enterprise risk management. 238 Social care computer electronic record system.356 Index Rubinow. 35 Bristol-Myers Squibb. 44 playground leader. 36 Senior Vice President. 33. 37 information systems management. 42 COO. 224 Santa Clara University.

72 Facebook. 73 foster innovation and open culture. 77 integrity and competence. 84. 71 cultural and geographic implementation. 78 London Business School. 76 virtualization. 71 Google. 80 banking. 72 global organization. 85 Group CIO. 85 customer profile. 72 Zuckerberg. 339 BlackBerry. 75 ERP system. 71 industry-standard technologies. 76 data visualization. 74 buzzword. 84 finance and accounting. 74 computing power. 78 Visa/MasterCard transactions. 78 cross-channel digital business. 79 live streaming. 83 PCA-compliant. 77 career aspiration. 76 real-time systems. 84. 340 Amazon EC2. 84 new generation. 74 trader apps. 83 entertainment. 80 DDoS protection. 77 security threats. 74. 77 B2B and B2C. 314 America information processors. 77 elements of technology. 82 work-life balance. 81 games. 76 gambling acts. 80 smart mobile device. 71 Amazon. 322 Annapolis. 73 career spans. 78 contribution and energy. 317 357 . 81 personalization. 82 KickOff app. 73 mobile computing. 81 friends/mentors/role models.Index Sridhara. 73 underpinning business process.0 business. 79. 78 Web 3. 74 FSA. 76 Wikipedia. 212 Strassmann. 84 on-the-job training. Ladbrokes PLC. 85 convergence. 72 back-end computation and presentation. 75 CPU cycles. 80 GDS. 340 AT&T. Mittu. 79. 81 reliability and availability. 73 Stead. 79 competitive differentiation. 76 American Airlines. 85 business/product departments. 82 end customer. 72 customer experience. 79 gaming machines. 82 true context. 78 multimedia. 85 top-line revenue. Mark. 79 opportunity. 75 technology-intense customer. 85 Word documents and e-mail. 81 economies of scale. 76 web-emerging web channel. 332 backstabbing culture. 72 cognitive surplus. Jerry. 83 IT. 84 young body with high miles. 228. 73 open-source computing. 75. Paul. 80. 214 Storefront engineering. 82 business work context. 71 land-based casinos. 74 re-evaluation. 309 agile development. 72 encryption. 73 coders.

325 WikiLeaks. 128 American Marketing Society. 314 government-supported activities. 19 Telephony. 316. 311 VMware. 318 structured methodologies. 124 CIO responsibilities and duties. 310. 309 counterintelligence. 326–328 General Motors. 334 police department. 36 Supply-demand organization. 332 Director of Defense Information. 313 Internet. 329 Corporate Information Officer. 322 interoperability. 127 classroom information. 323 social computing. 309 Citibank. 311 Web 2. 323 virtualization. 331 NASA. 125 communication and business skills. 309. 320 Windows machine. 311. 331 IBM manpower. 309 MacArthur’s intelligence officer. 316 enterprise architecture. University of Miami. 337 CIM program. 17 Temares. 255 Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC). 319 CFO/CEO position.0. 320 firewalls and antiviruses. 117 BBA. 341 communication infrastructure. 318 Virginia Tech. 321. 326. 334 service-oriented architecture. 312 General Foods. 320 Strassmann’s concentration camp. 342 U. 341 Kraft Foods Inc. 310. 338 Xerox video center. 326 Harvard Business School. 337 Citicorp. 316 military service. 116 ARPANET and Internet. economics. 339 cloud computing. Paul (continued) block houses. 116 customer service. 329. 338 Dell server. Navy. 320 cyber-operations. 313 coding infrastructure. 317. 313 financial organizations. 309. Lewis. 309. 331 HR-related issues. 124 College of Engineering. 253. 316 Silicon Valley software factories. 130 . 126 computer conference. 332 George Mason School of Information Technology. 309 Google apps.358 Index Strassmann. 311 infiltration. 318 Sun Microsystems. 126 camera. 327 Machiavellian view. 315. 316 exfiltration. 113 Apple device. 113 adaptability. 309 employee-owned technology. 119 client and terminal. 319 senior executive position. 312 powerpoint slides. 317 Xerox Corporation. 113 combination of degrees. 324 Radio Shack. 329.S. 341 corporate information management. 327 mash-up. 157 T Tech Mahindra. 313. 314 Department of Defense. 330. 333.

122 matchmaker. 114 Information Technology (IT). 116 SPSS and SAS programs. 119 mainframe computers. 123 revenue producer. Lynne.Index cyber security. 311 Visicalc. 185 Temares. 232 Videoconferencing. 131 MBA. 310. 39 Twitter. Kevin. 120 Texas. 104 University of Florida. 123 presentation skills. 126 rainmaker. 118 social 131 matchmakerexecs.0 industry. 121. 116 359 U University computing center. 177 V Verizon Communications. 119 video entertainment. Michael. 114 ERP. 118 marketing. 115 yellow notepaper. 124 Skype. 115 encyclopedia and Wikipedia. 129 Twitter. 121 faculty members. 115 entrepreneurial characteristics. 12 Virtual corporations. Sam. 226 The Associates First Capital Corporation. 34 University of San Francisco. 131 leading-edge technology. 130 Hewlett-Packard piece. 131 telecommunications. 115 online degree. 115 New-Age. 117 GPS technology. 231. 114. 124 independent entrepreneurs. 118 Jones. 122 high-performance computing. 123 RIM device. 244 Ellyn. 36 Utilities Telecom Council. 115. 116. 117 grocery store. 126 MIT and Berkeley. 115 YouTube. 132 wireless computers. 128 personal computer. 117 philanthropism. 134 . 102 Tracy. 125 document management. 116 voice/data integration. 129 higher education. 118 TRS-80s. Lewis. 47 Toyota. 139 University of 128 digital device. 47 Turner. 24 Vivendi Universal. 123 Facebook. 128 project management. technology-savvy kids. 114 Google. 116. 119 IBM data center. 120 mobile technology. 129 electronic hospital record. 28 University of Chicago. 113. 131 retail industry. 241 Virtualization. 121 financial 212 Transmission and distribution companies. 117 Web 2. 121 passion. 116 up-to-date technology. 120 telemedicine. 123 Fortune 500 commercial land. 121 day-to-day administration.

Steve. 169 IT core competency. 164 demand-supply model. 169 Google. 167. 156 metrics and quantitative benchmarking. Martha.360 Index VMware. 166. 166 on-demand services. 155 mentor. 171 consumerization. 170 standardization. 163 packaging and selling information. 161 cloud computing.0. John. 162. 154 education business. 155. 259 Web 2. 203 judgment. 168 168 operational excellence. 244. 160. 165 security budget. 85. 166 Salesforce. 231 voice capability. 311 Vodafone AirTouch. 152 defect-free code. 170 credibility. 291. 220. 59 World Wide Web. 79. 303 Williams Companies. 338 Wireless network. Pat. 157 Gen-Xer stuff. 169 disaster recovery. 325 Web 3. 232. 229 Wilson. 164 smart phones. 226 WikiLeaks. 151 ETS. 215 Wichita. 168 collaborative environment. 228. 156 skills. 233 Wilson. 154. 160 ElastomerSolutions. 76 Web 2. 167 services and packaging. 159 for-profit business. Joe. 168 Walmart. 163 industry. 115. 160 decision making. 151 mission. 185. 6. 169 fair value and reliable assessments. Carl. 164. 170. 152 Gartner CIO Academy. 163 operations and maintenance. 23 Wall Street Journal. 159 Facebook. 172 Heller. 266 W Wakeman. 154–156 virtualization and cloud computing. 170. 161 McGenesis. 151 advanced placement program.0 business. 171 Six Sigma. Dan. 50 Walt Disney Company. 168 back-end systems. 175 Wall Street. 227 Web infrastructure. 164 Taylor.0 companies. 157 digital nation. 167 security organization. 233 WillTell. 158 . 172 engine. 162 leadership and personal integrity. 259 Voice-response unit (VRU). 171 intellectual property. 225. 163 EXP program. 320 Wikipedia. 33 WAN. 155 business maxims. 154 ITIL version 3. 292. 154 scorecard. 171 iPad. 159 business peers. 160 Computer Choice.

330. 338 Xerox video center. 326. 65 . 175. 318 Y Y2K. 20.Index 361 X Xerox Corporation. 222 YouTube.

CIOs at Work Ed Yourdon .

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To Teddy .

vii . and tested numerous software applications and programmer-productivity products.About the Author Ed Yourdon is a computer software consultant and IT expert witness in his own firm. He has also reviewed numerous software development projects for clients during his consulting career. Working in the software field for more than 45 years. NODRUOY Inc. he has published 27 computer-related books and more than 550 technical articles. as well as co-founder of the Cutter Consortium and Editor Emeritus of the Cutter IT Journal. designed. He has managed numerous projects as a first-level project leader and also as a senior IT executive.. Yourdon has programmed.

and it’s definitely true of this book. their insights. I also got some much-needed help from Leon Kappelman. I hope they’ll forgive me if I don’t mention their names. and their advice. and without their help.” The same is true for textbooks and works of non-fiction. who put me in touch with the viii . For every e-mail interaction I had with a CIO. Not only did they graciously carve a significant chunk of time out of their schedule in order to share their experience. a spouse. neighbors. and feedback from friends. were quite helpful in my search for CIOs. support. locate. There were also several people who helped me identify. Jessica Belanger. and James Nicol. Behind each of these CIOs there was at least one—and often two or three—additional people that I need to acknowledge. They tend to stay in the background. are the sixteen individuals whom I had the pleasure and honor of interviewing. encouragement. Toni Nash. who enthusiastically suggested industries that I had overlooked. and John Baker. The most obvious people for me to acknowledge. the administrative assistants who help their bosses organize their schedules and coordinate their interactions with a wide range of people inside and outside their organization. The most important of these was my editor. I probably had ten with his or her administrative assistant. Several people at Computer Aid. Joe Hessmiller. companies whose CIOs were likely to be particularly interesting to interview. Inc. but they also shared their passion and excitement about the IT industry in which they work and to which they have dedicated a significant part of their professional lives. as well as several quasi-anonymous people on Twitter—and I am especially grateful for the assistance of @redmamba. including Mike Milutis. I would never have even reached the point of having a conversation with the CIO. hence. First. of course. but play a fairly invisible role. and clever strategies for tracking down CIOs who often seemed to be doing their level best to remain hidden from sight. or a “significant other. and contact the CIOs that I eventually interviewed. CIOs at Work.Acknowledgments It’s hard to imagine anyone writing a book entirely on his or her own—even a novelist would be hard-pressed to deny the inspiration.

Jeff Pepper. worked with me tirelessly to edit several audio “conversations” into readable English without losing the style.CIO of Parliament in the United Kingdom. And Apress’ Assistant Publisher. and family members throughout the several months that I worked on CIOs at Work. My editor. Ed Yourdon ix . often introducing me to their fellow CIO colleagues. carefully reviewed each chapter and suggested additional questions that would help round out each conversation. When it came to the actual writing of the book. The only hesitation that an author has when it comes to acknowledgments is that he might have unconsciously overlooked someone when compiling the list. Some will shrug and I suspect a few will mutter to themselves that I’ve deliberately slighted them. Jessica Belanger. Some of those whom I’ve inadvertently failed to mention won’t even notice the oversight. I apologize in advance to all those individuals and promise that I’ll do a better job next time. Kristen Ng did an unbelievably professional (and fast!) job of transcribing the audio recording of each interview into an eminently readable and coherent wordprocessing document. as I had numerous conversations and e-mail exchanges with friends. There is no doubt that I am guilty of such a sin. or at least telling me how to track them down and get in touch. personality. the CIOs themselves were of great assistance. and “voice” of the CIOs who spoke to me. Indeed. there were three key people who kept me on track and helped keep me from going insane. colleagues.

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